“ALIVE”— Five HIV Positive Men


“ALIVE!” (“Vivant!”)

Five HIV Positive Men

Amos Lassen

“Alive” is about a week of training that five HIV+ go through before they experience their first solo parachute jump. We watch as unlikely friendships develop under strange conditions. and documents the development of unlikely friendships that develop between such a disparate group.

The focus is on the interpersonal relationships of the five men and the very intense training for the parachute jump. The training is both physically and mentally demanding and the men visibly struggle to assimilate all the need to Know in order to make a successful jump.

As jump day gets closer, the group witness a near-catastrophic problem in the air and they and the viewers understand the that they’re in a little more danger than they previously realized and this makes for compelling viewing. Slowly the documentary shifts to focus more on the friendships that are formed as the jump comes closer. As the relationships between the men evolve, some of the conversations are much more intimate and personal among this group of strangers.

The five men have very different viewpoints on the relationships they shares with significant others and sexual partners. We hear of their first loves, first kisses and some less-enjoyable situations they have found themselves in. Some of these stories can be quite emotional and difficult to listen to but they also make for a much deeper understanding of the situation these men deal with on a daily basis. We are doubly entertained here with the beauty of nature and the sky and with moments of introspection and intimacy. The stories tell of loneliness and fear of intimacy giving us insight into the men’s lives.

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