In Memoriam: Larry Kramer
27/5 · Por HBO · Reading 3 min.
HBO presents the original film The Normal Heart and the documentary Larry Kramer: In Love and in Anger, two film pieces that have as their point of connection Larry Kramer, HIV activist, LGBT+ rights pioneer and exceptional playwright, who died this May 27 at the age of eighty-four.
HIV activist and outstanding playwright Larry Kramer has died
Larry Kramer died. He was 84 years old. He was a writer, playwright, HIV activist and LGBT+ rights pioneer. Kramer has died of pneumonia, and no doubt at an advanced age. For much of his adult life he had struggled with various diseases after becoming infected with HIV. He was a fighter. He fought against the disease, but also against the ignorance of people and the indolence of governments. He was one of the main protagonists in the struggle to raise awareness of the seriousness of HIV during the early years. That disease, which was little known at the time, was not being taken seriously. Kramer, seeing the seriousness of what was coming, wanted to make it known clearly and publicly. He understood, first of all, that there was a common factor that was killing homosexuals - including friends and acquaintances - in the New York area in the early 1980s. He saw an epidemic coming, but the community itself was not paying attention to it, much less the government. In order for him and those who followed him to be heard, he founded the organization "Gay Men's Health Crisis" in 1981. He was strong in his messages and targeted politicians. He needed the government to become aware of the seriousness of the situation, for government agencies to talk about it and for the state to reformulate its funding. He was expelled from his own organization for his insistence on targeting politicians. He would later found an organization much more direct in its proposals. The "Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)", founded in 1987, managed to capture the public's attention in order to fight the AIDS crisis. Today it is considered fundamental in changing health policies and the perception of people infected with HIV, not only in the United States but also in the world. His concern for the struggle for gay rights and his fight against HIV also led him to film, theatre and literature. During those years, he wrote the play The Normal Heart, which premiered in 1985. The Normal Heart is considered a milestone in the literature of gay activism.
The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts
The Normal Heart was brought to the screen in 2014 by HBO. The film tells us, through a fictional character, what Kramer experienced in the flesh: the beginning of the HIV crisis in New York's gay community between 1980 and 1984. This original HBO production focuses on writer and activist Ned Weeks, played by Mark Ruffalo. At first, Weeks finds that close friends begin to suffer from a strange disease that ends up taking them to their graves. Concerned about what is happening, he comes into contact with a doctor who has been treating patients with this mysterious and deadly disease. She is Dr. Emma Brookner, played by Julia Roberts. Soon, Weeks meets social resistance. No one wants to understand or know about what's going on. Thus, Weeks' battle becomes public, direct and positively aggressive, as opposed to the secrecy and confusion of the moment. The Normal Heart, directed by Ryan Murphy, is a very strong and moving dramatic film that shows us all the tragedy and the human dimension of a man who was concerned about helping his peers and was even instrumental in stopping a pandemic that could reach terrible dimensions.
Larry Kramer: In Love and Anger, the protagonist in his own words
The documentary Larry Kramer: In Love and Anger (2015), by director and producer Jean Carlomusto, also presents us with the passion and anger of this tireless fighter. The documentary provides an intimate look at his extraordinary life.
Larry Kramer: In Love and Anger features Kramer himself, relating not only his dimension as an activist, but also his personal struggle as a homosexual and against illness. We will learn about his liver transplant as a result of it, and there we will see Kramer in his hospital room, together with his partner and then husband, David Webster. We will have his reflections, honest and direct, about his own recognition of his sexuality. He shares about success in the various stages of his life, which led him to become the definitive father of the HIV movement and a forerunner of the fight for LGBT+ rights. Passionate, controversial, profoundly human, Larry Kramer speaks to us and moves us in this magnificent documentary.
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