Who’s Gonna Love Me Now is probably one of the most moving documentaries I have ever seen. The film was made by The Heymann Brothers who worked tirelessly to capture hundreds of hours of footage over the course of five years. Somehow they managed to cut the movie down to only an hour and twenty-five minutes which is actually kind of crazy. I personally feel like I could have easily sat there for twice that amount of time and been completely fine with it.
The movie opens on Saar Maoz, a gay Israeli man living in London at the time, trying to get through everyday life. He just so happens to have to deal with the hardships that come with being HIV positive as well. Throughout the movie we see him struggling with not only the physical side effects associated with HIV, but with the toll it has taken on him and his devout Jewish family emotionally and mentally. His family has some interesting ideas about how one might become infected with HIV, most of which were entirely false It seemed as though many of his family members thought they could get it through casual contact or simply touching his blood when Saar has had an open wound. However that isn’t all how HIV is spread to another individual.
You can get or transmit HIV only through specific activities. Most commonly, people get or transmit HIV through sexual behaviors and needle or syringe use.
HIV is not spread easily. Only certain body fluids from a person who has HIV can transmit HIV:
- Semen (cum)
- Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
These body fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into your bloodstream (by a needle or syringe) for transmission to occur. Mucous membranes are found inside the rectum, vagina, penis, and mouth.
While this information may seem like common knowledge to us, that isn’t necessarily the case for those in other countries who either don’t have the resources to learn more about this ailment or simply choose not to find out the truth. In Saar Maoz’s case, his family’s lack of knowledge on the subject has created an even bigger rift between them than him admitting to being gay ever did. Saar feels a disconnect with his family and he desperately wants to repair the broken relationships in his life, but it is clear that his fear has been holding him back.
When Saar originally moved to London he was all alone and far from the comfort of his family. Luckily he found the London Gay Men’s Chorus and was able to feel the warm embrace of a second family. It was beautiful and heart wrenching to watch him find joy through music and to even see him try and share his new life with some of his family members.
I found this film to be not only heartwarming, but enlightening. To be able to see and try to comprehend the way other cultures view the LGBTQ community and the subject of HIV was something I will not soon forget. Whether you support LGBTQ individuals or not, this movie will give you insight into what it’s like to be in a family that doesn’t quite understand why some people are homosexual and how to love even when it’s hard. In a review from The Upcoming, James Fisher writes, “It would have been easy to pit Saar against his family, but what matters more is both side’s attempts at reconciliation. Saar’s family aren’t evil people; they are just relics of a different time, struggling to adapt to a world that is becoming increasingly alien to them.” The relationships in this movie were so complex and so raw that you can’t help but feel as though you are apart of what is happening. This film deserves a 6 out of 5 stars, it’s that good, really.
For more information on HIV and AIDS visit aids.gov.