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The LGBTQ+ Drama Hidden Gem You Can Find On Hulu

Mainstream movies about the AIDS epidemic were largely uncommon during the first decade of the autoimmune disorder's existence. 1985's "An Early Frost," starring Aidan Quinn, told the story of a gay man telling his family about his HIV diagnosis and won three Emmys for it. However, most other films dealing with the topic of the AIDS epidemic remained small, indie affair throughout the '80s. 

Unsurprisingly, the tide began to turn in 1993 with films like "And the Band Played On" and Tom Hanks' and Denzel Washington's landmark film "Philadelphia." A year later, MTV's "The Real World," an unscripted reality TV series about strangers living together, introduced Pedro Zamora, a gay man living with AIDS.

The change in public discourse happened for many reasons. We witnessed celebrities reveal they were HIV positive, and by 1992, AIDS was the number one cause of death in the United States for men ages 25-44. By 1994, AIDS was the number one cause of death for all Americans in that age rage.

Still, it's important to remember that it was the LGBT community which was harmed most by the lack of treatment for AIDS. They fought in the streets to demand better from their governments and the medical community. If that movement and that time in history interests you, Hulu has a 2017 French film called "BPM (Beats Per Minute)" all about the activism surrounding AIDS in the early '90s.

BPMM is an AIDS story about activism and love

"BPM (Beats Per Minute)" is focused on a Paris chapter of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), an organization designed to raise awareness about AIDS, fight for better care for people living with HIV and AIDS, and call out harmful behavior against the LGBT community in countries across the world. If you've ever seen the "Silence=Death" posters with a pink triangle, that's one iconic symbol for the work ACT UP accomplished in the '80s and '90s.

While many films discussing AIDS are focused on the epidemic's impact on the United States, other countries around the world faced similar struggles. "BPM" shines a light not only on the complexity of early '90s activist work in France. "BPM" stands out because it focuses on the challenges of gathering, organizing, and taking public action. The focus on the intricacy of activism is likely due to director Robin Campillo having been a member of ACT UP himself.

In addition to ACT UP and pushing Melton Pharm to make AIDS medications publicly available faster, "BPM"  is also about people who both are and are not living with HIV or AIDS. We're getting a history lesson, along with love stories and stories of community. This is a film that covers factual events while also tackling interpersonal relationships in a way that only rare films like 1985's "Buddies" ever truly accomplished. "BPM" is an excellent addition to your Hulu queue.