I am shaking. That sadness, resentment, and regret I have been suppressing for months now, finally exploded in a cosmic proportion and vibrates insistently from the recesses of my soul. I have never felt so helpless, cold, and hungry for compassion and love. My chest was heaving helplessly as I try to dry the tears flowing from my eyes, wiping it off with my hands, determined to stop the flow of this strange liquid I have not seen, felt, and tasted for months. It is strange how deep and wide the wound this movie has left in me.After watching Philadelphia (1993).
I struggled to stand on my trembling feet. Walked shakily to my brother’s room and did the most unexpected thing. I called for him and hugged him. That was the second time I hugged my brother. Our stiff Catholic upbringing had trained us to suppress any unconventional emotions even between brothers. But all that was forgotten when I hugged him tight, whispering “Thank you”.
My family was the only reason I’m still alive and well. They gave me the strength to live and survive, even make my life better after HIV. That final scene in the movie where the entire family was gathered in the room… I was in that scene, I was Andrew Beckett, I was ill and dying, my family was there kissing me goodnight as they one by one went home to rest. I was him, the only difference is I survived, I lived the next day and recovered. What I envy him for was how Miguel loved him so much and stayed with him until the end. My boyfriend then left me instead. He feared and rejected me. Painful.
This is one movie, all the other victims of this illness must watch. It is a compelling movie about human rights, especially the rights of us living with this debilitating disease. It is a movie about the sad and cruel stigma we face every day. It is about unconditional love and family. It is one of the movies that really stay around forever. It is a must watch.