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French Program Presents Film Screening of ‘BPM (Beats Per Minute)’

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Cal State Fullerton’s French Program will present a Thursday, April 11, screening of the film “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” at 7 p.m. in Humanities and Social Sciences Building, room 110.

Released in 2017, the movie tells the fictionalized story of the Paris branch of the AIDS activism group ACT UP in the 1990s. The movie is a rare, non-American view of the global health crisis that decimated, among others, the gay community in the looming shadow of the 21st century.

The movie reminds the viewer that the axiom “the political is personal” is not a bromide to be set aside in the postmodern world. “BPM” recounts with precision an era in which people died in part because governments tacitly, and sometimes not tacitly, agreed worldwide that a particular virus was punishment for deviant behavior and thus not something that deserved urgent attention.

The tactics of ACT UP were deemed “extremist” by many. The movie demonstrates the humanity of these activists with humor and compassion. For those who consider themselves well-versed in the history, “BPM” is a kind of wake-up call and cinematic alarm against complacency.

Ghada Mourad