- 1 hr 37 min
Buddies is a 1983 Australian film that examines the effects of the AIDS epidemic on a group of male friends in Sydney. The movie was directed by Arch Nicholson and stars Colin Friels, Harold Hopkins, and Kris McQuade. The film opens with an introduction to the main characters: David, played by Friels, a successful lawyer; Johnno, played by Hopkins, a promiscuous construction worker; and Bernie, played by McQuade, a struggling artist. They are all good friends and frequently socialize together. However, their lives are thrown into chaos when Johnno is diagnosed with AIDS. The film depicts the reactions of the group to Johnno's illness. David and Bernie are initially shocked and frightened, but they offer their support to Johnno. David in particular becomes very involved in Johnno's life after his diagnosis. As a lawyer, David is well-equipped to help Johnno navigate the legal issues that arise as a result of his illness. Meanwhile, Bernie learns about the disease and how it is transmitted, and she tries to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that surround AIDS. The film delves into the emotional turmoil experienced by the characters as they struggle to deal with the situation. Johnno goes through a range of emotions, from denial and anger to acceptance. David becomes increasingly frustrated with the healthcare system and the government's lack of action on the AIDS crisis. Bernie is forced to confront her own prejudices and fears about the disease. One of the most striking aspects of the film is its depiction of the stigma and discrimination that surrounded homosexuality and AIDS in the 1980s. The characters are all gay, and they are depicted as having to navigate a world that is often hostile to their sexuality. In one particularly powerful scene, David confronts a group of protesters who are picketing outside a hospital where AIDS patients are being treated. He tells them, "These are human beings inside, just like you and me. You all could be infected tomorrow. You don't even have to be gay." The film is a powerful statement about the need for compassion and understanding, even in the face of fear and ignorance. Buddies is not an easy film to watch. It is a heartbreaking depiction of a terrible time in our history. However, it is also a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of community in the face of adversity. The performances by Friels, Hopkins, and McQuade are all excellent, and the film is beautifully shot. Despite its heavy subject matter, it is a well-crafted and thought-provoking piece of cinema. Overall, Buddies is a poignant and powerful film that tells an important story about the AIDS epidemic and its impact on the gay community. It may be a difficult watch, but it is also a necessary one. The film is a testament to the strength and courage of those who lived through this terrible time, and a reminder that we must never forget their struggle.