“Larry Kramer in Love and Anger”
Author, Activist, Playwright and Academy Award Winner
Larry Kramer is a hero and a legend—an author, a screenwriter, a playwright, a gay activist and a man who believes in good. He is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America, He shows his outrage and his grief and he inspired an entire generation that we might have lost to fight for their lives. Now he is 78 and he commands our attention and is revered and reviled by many. He is outspoken–some say that he is insanely enraged and he used his anger for the gay civil rights movement and also to stop the deaths from AIDS. His life is one of saying what he thinks without regard for whom it might hurt. He was a one-band man and we see that throughout this documentary. While AIDS was ravaging our community, Kramer condemned the promiscuity that once seemed to be a part of the way we lived. His book “Faggots” that was meant to be a satire of gay life was often (and still is) thought to be an act of self-hatred even though he meant it to be a reflection of our behavior at the time.
Director Jean Carlomusto shows us just how alone he was by interviewing Kramer’s co-workers and community members who now forget about how it was and regale Kramer for his bravery and fortitude at a time when the future looked bleak (or if we even had a future). Kramer saw “homosexuality as condemned by overt sexualisation.” We have to think about why gay men consistently are considered more promiscuous than heterosexuals? Why does the status quo accept a lifestyle encapsulated by, as Kramer spits, “asses and dicks”?
The film is really about looking at the original issues and the politics of sexuality—it is about us knowing who and where we are and how poorly we were treated as a community at the height of the AIDS plague (Kramer does not use the word epidemic—it was much worse than that, he says). The film reminds us that Kramer was at the forefront of trying to save lives as he battled his own HIV/AIDS diagnosis. I wish we could have seen a bit more of him.
The documentary was made with love and respect for Larry Kramer and it consists of photographs, public appearances, interviews and so on and we get to meet an iconic hero of our community. The film will be aired on HBO in June.