Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: We Were Here documents the coming of what was called the “Gay Plague” in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed. It offers a cathartic validation for the generation that suffered through, and responded to, the onset of AIDS. It opens a window of understanding to those who have only the vaguest notions of what transpired in those years. It provides insight into what society could, and should, offer its citizens in the way of medical care, social services, and community support. (Red Flag Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 100
    The most gripping war movie you'll see this year, We Were Here tells first-hand the story of how AIDS attacked San Francisco, killing more than 15,000. Whole peer groups were happy, healthy, and then dead in months.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 8, 2011
    Throughout We Were Here there is not a hint of mawkishness, self-pity or self-congratulation. The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Sep 15, 2011
    An extraordinarily moving examination of how the AIDS epidemic both devastated and transformed San Francisco's gay community, this clear-eyed and soulful documentary brings us inside the contagion in a way that is so intimate, so personal, you feel like you're hearing about these catastrophic events for the first time.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Sep 5, 2011
    Director David Weissman brings a rewardingly fresh and personal perspective to the subject.
  5. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Sep 6, 2011
    A simple, powerful act of bearing witness, We Were Here is a sober reminder of the not-too-distant past, when gays were focused not on honeymoon plans but on keeping people alive.
  6. Reviewed by: Eve Barlow
    Nov 21, 2011
    A moving look behind the curtain of a rarely-explored community.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Sep 6, 2011
    Simply and devastatingly letting five residents of San Francisco share their reminiscences of that city's nightmarish "war zone" in the early, horrific years of AIDS, We Were Here creates a harrowing, streamlined oral history.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 7, 2011
    If you lived through this holocaust as someone significantly affected by it, watching this film could provide a powerful catharsis of the emotions that so many of us had to repress in order to survive the relentless onslaught of illness and death of our chosen families in the late 80's and early 90's. But don't do it alone--go with a close friend you can share with afterwards. Ultimately, this film left me with a wide open heart full of gratitude, inspiration, a renewed faith in humanity, and something like pride in how we came together as a community to care for each other. Expand
  2. Nov 20, 2011
    Absolutely spellbinding -- as a narrative, completely absorbing; as a document of the times, illuminating; as a film, impeccably made. This and "Senna" are easily the best documentaries I've seen this year, or in the past several years. Most highly recommended. Expand
  3. Nov 20, 2011
    What it lacks in revelation it makes up for in sheer gut-punching emotion, proving that just because a movie is a documentary doesn't mean it can't be as involving and as utterly compelling as the best fiction. Expand
  4. Oct 1, 2011
    Astonishingly powerful film about Aids in San Francisco in the 80s and the Gay community's response.
    I strongly urge everyone to cast
    trepidation aside and go see this film. Your heart will thank you. Collapse
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    t is already hard to find a good documentary and it's even miraculously harder for me to find such cheerful, heartbreaking and such accomplished documentary such as this piece of work. The story was uniquely shocking..yet lying so near to us. The film told both from the individual to a bigger picture as the community in their fight aginst HIV in such emotional ugly-passionate expression.
    Too Great to be missed.


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