Last Men Standing Film: About

Kevin VandenBergh, a long-term AIDS survivor, looks at the city from the balcony of his apartment in San Francisco, Calif. on September 21, 2015. VandenBergh uses support groups and volunteering to combat the isolating aspects of being a long-term survivor. (Photo by Tim Hussin)
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Kevin VandenBergh, a long-term AIDS survivor, looks at the city from the balcony of his apartment in San Francisco, Calif. on September 21, 2015. VandenBergh uses support groups and volunteering to combat the isolating aspects of being a long-term survivor. (Photo by Tim Hussin)

A film by Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin for the San Francisco Chronicle about long-term AIDS survivors.  

www.sfchronicle.com/lastmenstanding 

“We felt like every day was wonderful and anything could happen.” Rich and distinguished stories unfold among the lives of long-term survivors who have learned how to celebrate, heal, love, and thrive after the devastation of the early AIDS crisis. In this cathartic and intimate documentary, eight men look back on their experiences and then toward the future with the strength and resiliency they have cultivated over the past 30 years. 

Survivors are still affected by the trauma of not only their diagnosis but also the loss of community and way of life. Nobody knew they would grow old with AIDS. Many abandoned careers and went on long-term disability to wait out their death sentence, and now they face an uncertain economic future. As they age, and as the Castro neighborhood changes, long-term survivors are also creating new ways to connect, and to find meaning and community. This meditative documentary, the first full-length film produced by the San Francisco Chronicle, draws attention to the emotional and inspiring history of the city’s gay community in the post-AIDS era. 

— Thom Venegoni, Frameline40