Thursday, April 18, 2024

The First Fallen is about the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Brazil

The First Fallen, a new feature film from Dark Star Pictures goes back to the first cases of AIDS in Brazil in the 1980s.

After screening in some of the prestigious film festivals around the globe, writer/director Rodrigo de Oliveira’s powerful LGBTQ drama about the start of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s Brazil releases this February in theaters and on demand.

Synopsis: At the turn of 1983 in a small Brazilian town, a group of LGBTQIA+ men and women celebrate the New Year with no idea of the approaching. The biologist Suzano knows something terrible is disrupting his body. Uncertain of his future and desperate at the lack of information, Suzano reaches out to transsexual artist Rose and videomaker Humberto, both equally ill. Together they’ll try to survive the first wave of the AIDS epidemic.

Rodrigo de Oliveira, director | Photo: Mario Miranda Filho/

Says de Oliveira, “The first time I understood the word “gay” could describe me, the word “plague” was already intrinsically attached to it. The people I wanted to be as a kid were dying on TV, and I was told that for every pop idol in the spotlight there were hundreds of thousands in the darkness, invisible. Those were my elders, and yet I was denied their humanity.

And so, AIDS is not only a subject to explore, but the very foundation of my identity, of the identity of every LGBTQIA+ person, as tragic as it is transformative. To film those first bodies, to listen to those first voices, to rally behind those first radicals, it’s to reject that invisibility. The First Fallen is the loving imagination of lineage, the invention of my family tree. A film about the dream of being yourself fully, whatever weight the world puts on your shoulders; about the importance of community and the support from our chosen family. The stories never told deserve a place at the forefront. These characters created the possibility of me, not the other way around.”

The First Fallen releases in theaters Feb 10, 2023 and DVD and On Demand February 21, 2023.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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