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1993's The movie Philadelphia

It didn't capture our experience of the plague, its evocation of a common mortality, its descents into comedy, its nagging constancy, its grayshaded dignity and indignity. It was a film in garish primary colors, directed at "them," and, we generally agreed, good for "them."

Yet, this same writer saw the film a second time and changed his mind:

Despite (and sometimes because of) its Hollywood banality, it was surprisingly true. From its soundtrack on, it insisted on the commonality of the gay and straight experience. . . The movie also portrayed a homosexual emphatically as a member of a heterosexual family. This is a truth that is extremely hard to convey in words, but that the film, more than any before it, placed at its center. It succinctly showed that gay people are not so much a problem for straight families; they are straight families.

Philadelphia is the story of Andrew Beckett, a young lawyer in a large Philadelphia law firm who is also gay and who contracts AIDS. He does not tell anyone in his law firm about his health problems, but eventually the disease begins to manifest itself. When a lesion appears on his forehead, he can no longer keep his secret, and the reaction is swift and harsh--he is fired on false charges of incompetence. He decides to sue his old law firm, but this proves very difficult. He cannot get a lawyer to represent him in t


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