Silverlake Life: The View from Here is a graphic, devastating account of the end of a life – that of co-director Tom Joslin – seen through his own eyes and those of his loving partner Mark Massi, filmed in the early nineties, when contracting AIDS meant almost certain death.
What transpires is an emotional but brutally honest account of life with a fatal disease. The film is unflinching in its graphic representation of life (with a terminal disease) and death, a heartbreaking experience that becomes a document of a tragic moment in history for all future generations to witness.
The film deservedly won numerous prestigious awards all over the world, including the Teddy Award at the Berlinale and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1993, and remains one of the most important films to emerge from the AIDS epidemic.
Mickey La Rosa has curated two films for this year’s festival, both exploring the AIDS epidemic and the importance of family in the life of a sick person, as well as acknowledging the hard times people found themselves in when the virus first spread. Silverlake Life: The View from Here is a gritty video diary shot on hand-held S-VHS, whereas Memories of a Penitent Heart is presented as a very personal detective investigation, shot digitally. While Memories is an essay film about the scars a family is still carrying today, Silverlake acts more like a time capsule - both films remind us that the disease will always represent a tragic chapter in human history.
"Both AIDS and COVID-19 have carried a stigma and a sense of tremendous isolation, both have made countless victims. Focussing on the AIDS epidemic, the two films I programmed for Flatpack - Memories of a Penitent Heart and Silverlake Life: The View from Here capture important moments in that crisis." - Film Programmer Mickey La Rosa
We’re delighted to welcome human rights activist, broadcaster, and long-time campaigner Peter Tatchell as a special guest to discuss elements from the film with Mickey after the screening.
This event was selected from Flatpack’s second open call for curators from underrepresented groups. See here for more information about the open call.
Dir: Tom Joslin & Peter Friedman
USA 1993, 99 mins
CW// This show contains scenes that some viewers may find distressing.