Remembering the Man

Director: Nickolas Bird & Eleanor Sharpe
2015 | Australia | 83m
GENRE: AIDS/HIV | Arts & Literature | Biography/History | Documentary | Gay | Relationships | Romance
SECTION: Documentary

This beautiful, tragic love story will stir your soul and motivate your mind. Based on the 1995 memoir Holding the Man by Australian writer, actor, and activist Timothy Conigrave (a memoir that also inspired the Frameline40 drama of the same name), Remembering the Man is a profound portrayal of a passionate and complicated romance. Filmmakers Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe’s intimate documentary focuses on the fifteen-year relationship of Conigrave and John Caleo who met as Catholic high school students in 1970s Melbourne.

The filmmakers take a unique approach, combining video footage, talking-head interviews and re-enactments to create a dynamic, engaging and emotionally charged experience that gets you into the hearts and minds of these astounding subjects and their heartbreaking story. Audio narration by Conigrave himself, from a 1993 interview, brings a haunting, authentic quality to the film. What starts as a sweet, fairytale of young love evolves into a real-world nightmare about the ‘80s AIDS pandemic and cruel examples of homophobia in Australia. It’s rare that a documentary can contrast deep flashes of emotional truth with enlightening insights about societal evils. By focusing on the specific details of this very personal relationship, the filmmakers uncover universal realities about love and loss that serve as an important document of a dark time in LGBTQ history and a hopeful reminder to work to make things better.


National AIDS Memorial Grove