David Weissman feels that as a person who was living in San Francisco during the early 1980s AIDS epidemic, he has a mission. “It’s the obligation of people like me who lived through that time to tell their story,” he said.
Weissman has completed his part of the obligation by directing (along with Bill Weber) and producing “We Were Here,” a documentary focusing on four individuals–Paul Boneberg, the executive director of the GLBT Historical Society; Guy Clark, a florist in the Castro district; Daniel Goldstein, an artist; Ed Wolf, a healthcare worker and Eileen Glutzer, a nurse who was on the front lines during the beginning of the outbreak in the 1980s. The film not only shows the horrors and fears of the time, but also the great strength and courage that comes from a community rallying together to get through tough times.
The film is currently rated at 100% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. “It’s nice,” said Weissman of the honor. “I keep checking to see if it’s changed and it never changes. It’s hugely gratifying.” He also said he’s happy to see that audiences of all ages and sexual preferences are resonating with the film.
Because young people are viewing the film, Weissman hopes the film will show young adults, particularly young GLBT adults, the history that precedes them. “Young people take for granted the dangers of AIDS because it’s not always on the news and there are treatments that are working,” he said. “I want them to see how we got to where we are today, the sacrifices that were made. It is similar to the Civil Rights movement; the pioneers don’t want everything they fought for to be forgotten or taken for granted. It’s a remarkable piece of history.”
You can learn more about the film at wewereherefilm.com