Starring: Arnaud Valois, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Adèle Haenel
Duration: 145 min
Moroccan-born French screenwriter, director and editor Robin Campillo, whose various credits include The Class (2008) and Eastern Boys (2013), draws on his own personal experience of the AIDS activist group ACT UP-Paris in the 1990s in this extraordinary portrait of its members, the issues they faced and the political activism they engaged in. Winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and destined to become a modern queer classic, 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) is by turns urgent, heart-breaking, sensual and life-affirming.
A film structured around the power of discourse, with many of its scenes taking place during the group’s weekly meetings, 120 BPM revolves around HIV-negative new member Nathan (Arnaud Valois) and his blossoming romantic relationship with strident group member Sean (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart). Campillo has created an inspiring and deeply emotional tale that brilliantly balances the personal and the political.
7.5/10 6 ratings.