We Were Here

Synopsis: 'We Were Here' is the first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the City's inhabitants dealt with that unprecedented calamity. It explores what was not so easy to discern in the midst of it all - the parallel histories of suffering and loss, and of community coalescence and empowerment. Though this is a San Francisco based story, the issues it addresses extend not only beyond San Francisco but also beyond AIDS itself. 'We Were Here' speaks to our societal relationship to death and illness, our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and the importance of community in addressing unimaginable crises.
Director(s): David Weissman, Bill Weber (co-director)
Production: Independent Films
  4 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

- There was nothing

extraordinary about the fact.

That you lose the people

that you love...

'Cause it's gonna happen

to all of us.

It's just that it happened

in this targeted community.

Of people

who were disenfranchised.

And separated

from their families...

And a whole group

of other people stepped up.

And became their family.

- We are not

some network of people.

Who just like to have sex.

We are not some

ephemeral subculture.

That comes

and dissolves and goes.

This is a community

that was tested.

In a way almost no community

on earth is ever tested...

And succeeded

in what it was trying to do...

Which is save as many lives

of people as it could...

Stop civil rights attacks...

And then

try to use that example.

To transform the world.

If you're ever facing

a natural disaster.

As extraordinary as aids was.

In the last quarter

of the last century...

You should be so lucky

as to be in a community.

Like the queer community

of san francisco.

- When I talk to young people,


They'll say,

"what was it like?"

I mean, the only thing

I can liken it to is a war zone...

But most of us have never

lived in a war zone.

But it was...

...you never knew where the bomb

was gonna drop.

I decided to do

this interview because...

I've... I've been around

for the entire epidemic...

And I've seen

so many parts of it...

And I think there's

a lot of people from...

I mean, none of my friends

are around.

From the beginning.

So I want

to tell their story.

As much as I want

to tell my story.

I think that's why.

- I came to san francisco.

Back in the late '70s.

You know, there were more

gay people coming here.

There was

all these love children.

It was right at the end

of the hippies, you know...

And everybody, I mean,

if you had a bus ticket...

It better be saying

"san francisco," you know...

Because that was

the place to come.

I was the dancer.

I thought I could dance better

than anybody on the west coast.

Center stage,

i would get up there...

I'd climb up on that stage...

And i'd dance myself

into a frenzy.

Every sunday night

at the tea dance.

And if you got too close...

You might slip off the stage...

Because you were

too close to me.

But I thought

i had it going on.

My dad said one day

that I should sell flowers.

That's a good business.

And I thought, "I'm gonna

sell flowers in san francisco,"

Because, you know,

they've got these songs...

Where have all

the flowers gone?

And "if you're going

to san francisco...

Wear a flower

in your hair," and...

...so I was ready for it.

A friend of mine

came up in a pickup.

And took me right over

into the castro.

On 15th and noe, and I've

been there for 28 years.

"Hey, I'm one of

the family members," you know.

"Come buy my flowers. "

So I would put up

these rainbow flags...

And i... You know, and you could

see 'em from a block away.

If you looked

down the street.

You could just see

that little ribbon.

Until all the colors faded.

- I always knew I was gonna

come out to the bay area.

And I think a lot of us

came out here.

Because we didn't quite fit

where we were.

Back in college, I helped start

the first woman's newspaper.

Uh, we started the first

childcare center.

Stuff like that.

So I was very involved.

We had a women's center

on haight street...

So I started going

to the women's center...

And we sat around and said...

"Let's open up

a women's clinic,"

And then we just did it.

It was the era

of illegal abortions.

It was a time

when we, as women...

Weren't as educated

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "We Were Here" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jul 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/we_were_here_23168>.

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