“Of all the cinematic explorations of the AIDS crisis, not one is more heartbreaking and inspiring than WE WERE HERE… The humility, wisdom and cumulative sorrow expressed lend the film a glow of spirituality and infuse it with grace… ONE OF THE TOP TEN FILMS OF THE YEAR.” Stephen Holden, New York Times
Filmmakers David Weissman and Bill Weber co-directed the 2001 documentary, The Cockettes, chronicling San Francisco’s legendary theater troupe of hippies and drag queens, 1969 – 1972. We Were Here revisits San Francisco a decade later, as its flourishing gay community is hit with an unimaginable disaster.
We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic.
Though a San Francisco-based story, We Were Here extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination.
“Absolutely electrifying. I wept, sure, but mostly from relief that this story has finally been told with all its dimensions intact: the panic, the betrayals, the brave humor, the enormity of what we lost yet, ultimately, affirmed for the ages. It’s a love story about the resilience of our tribe.” Armistead Maupin
“David Weissman and Bill Weber’s brisk, tender, multifaceted, and deeply moving documentary, tells the story of the AIDS crisis through the voices of four gay men … and one woman, all of whom pitched in—for years—to help the sick and the dying because, as the movie makes clear, the circumstances made it unthinkable for them to do otherwise. They and their comrades are the equivalent of World War II resistance fighters, and the film gives their commitment and courage the celebration it deserves…. simply the most compelling history of the major tragedy and epic struggle of our time.”
Amy Taubin, Film Comment
“David Weissman’s We Were Here is a clear-eyed, soulful look at the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, with reflective survivors talking about how community members stepped up and weathered the storm individually and collectively.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“It’s impossible for a single film to capture the devastation wrought by AIDS, or the heroism with which many in the LGBT community responded to it. But director David Weissman’s documentary is such a powerful achievement because he just about does it.” Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
“WE WERE HERE revisits the voices of a lost generation, and is a film that shook this young gay reviewer to the core, leaving a strengthened sense of historical rootedness and pride in my community that will stay with me for the rest of my life.” Jake Weinraub, TheWrap.com
Produced and directed by David Weissman
Editor/ co-director Bill Weber