“Buddies,” was the first feature film about AIDS released in 1985, preceding An Early Frost by two months. It was a snapshot of the incredible struggle and fight between life and death for gay men in New York City during the darkest hours of the epidemic.
The movie made its debut at the Castro Theater in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 1985, and then went on to independent art-house runs in New York, Boston, Chicago and other cities before being lost and forgotten for over 30 years.
“Buddies” is about Robert (Geoff Edholm), a 32-year-old gay man dying of AIDS, who is visited at the hospital by David (David Schachter), a 25-year-old volunteer “buddy.” Man gay men (and lesbians) volunteered as “buddies” in New York City to take care for the many gay men who were alone and came down with the deadly disease . Robert and David develop a friendship that eventually becomes intimate. The film ends with Robert’s death; David, emboldened by Robert’s activist spirit, pickets the White House.(Ronald Reagan who was President at that time turned his back on thousands of gay men who were dying from the dreaded disease.)
Vinegar Syndrome, in collaboration with the Bressan Project, has released a new digital restoration of “Buddies.” on Blu-ray/DVD via Vinegar Syndrome and Amazon and o plans are underway to make it available for streaming next year through Frameline Distribution.
The film is also available for exhibition at film festivals, colleges and other venues via Frameline Distribution — just click here for more info.
*HT to NYC gay activist Christopher Leonard