2013 EMMY NOMINATION! OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY
2011 INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATION! BEST DOCUMENTARY
“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 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. We Were Here evokes an epic history, through the intimate recollections of five longtime San Franciscans whose lives were transformed by the 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
“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.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“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
“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