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Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt 1989

  • December 1, 1989
  • 79 mins
  • Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • United States
  • English
  • History, Documentary

In the late 1970s, a mysterious new disease began infecting and killing gay men. Common Threads tells the powerful story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, as told through the lives of five very diverse individuals who shared a common fate. Using the monumental NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as its central metaphor, the film weaves together personal memories and television news stories to expose the U.S. government’s failure to respond to the growing epidemic, and the vibrant protest movement that was born as a result. From the Olympic athlete to the inner-city recovering drug addict, from the conservative naval commander to the New York gay activist to the 11-year-old suburban boy with haemophilia, the film uses intimate details to tell an epic story of love, loss, anger and healing.


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