Filmmaker Robin Campillo’s follow-up to ‘Eastern Boys’ draws on his own experiences with AIDS activism in the 1990s with a tribute to the young men and women of ACT UP, who started the direct-action group to fight an enemy that, at the time, seemed almost unbeatable.
The lives of AIDS activists in early 90s Paris are reimagined in bold and vivid detail in 120 BPM, a stunning and heart-wrenching drama from the writer of Palme d’Or winner The Class, Robin Campillo. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2017 and a host of international awards, this is an essential work of cinema with a profoundly moving and delicately crafted love story at its heart.
As the AIDS epidemic tears through their community, the members of ACT UP Paris are fighting for survival. While they battle against governmental apathy, pharmaceutical greed and public ignorance, they also go out partying, debate politics and, occasionally, fall in love. One day, as outspoken radical Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart) strikes up a conversation with shy newcomer Nathan (Arnaud Valois), they have no idea that their lives are about to change forever.
Based on the director’s own experiences, this vibrant and deeply emotional drama rushes with youthful energy, balancing powerful themes of social justice with euphoric moments of spine-tingling sensuality. Urgent and affecting, it’s a film about life, death, love, tragedy – and, above all, the will to survive.
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) is in cinemas and on demand April 6th.