Two years ago, I saw Gregg Bordowitz speak at Scripps college and was inspired to watch his film, Fast Trip Long Drop (1993). Comparing this work to Marlon Rigg’s Tongues Untied, I think both are extremely powerful in the way that they use the personal, the up-close, intimate, and uncensored coverage of their experiences being HIV positive. These men understand that the typical media portrayals and traditional accounts of history have constantly excluded the people to which they are trying to connect and thus must create their own set of semantics using the points of commonality for their given community as queer, HIV positive artists. Moreover, these videos have incredibly dark language and rich emotion that is used to, as we spoke of in class, evoke sympathy from the audience. In Fast Trip Long Drop in particular, I was stunned by its anger and militancy. In the talk, Bordowitz explained that he thought this would be his last piece, that he felt he could say anything because he was dying and didn’t know how much time he had left. And that language, of anger and hurt and fear, is such a powerful way to memorialize the history of emotion and chaos surrounding the AIDS crisis better than any history book ever could.

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One response »

  1. taliat says:

    I too am very compelled by Bordowitz’s explorations of his anger associated with an HIV diagnosis. As a society, I feel like we don’t give people with this diagnosis the appropriate space to express this kind of anger, even though it is completely justifiable and understandable.

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