Directors Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin in attendance

Sun, May 22nd 4:45pm
Hollywood Theatre

From the onset of the epidemic in 1981 until the mid-1990s, AIDS was an almost-certain death sentence. Though countless drugs were being used and tested to mitigate the wide range of AIDS-related infections, mortality loomed for the vast majority of those infected with the virus.

Kevin Vandenbergh, a long-term AIDS survivor, hugs a friend at the end of the "Revival! 2," dance hosted by long-term AIDS survivors, at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist in San Francisco on Friday, October 2, 2015. (Photo by Erin Brethauer)

And then things changed. Not immediately, and not for everyone, but with the discovery of protease inhibitors and the introduction of the “AIDS cocktail,” a future that seemed lost was suddenly regained. Many people who had suffered terribly and were awaiting their impending end began to regain a degree of good health. While this was indisputably cause for rejoicing, it was not without ambiguities and complications.

Filmmakers Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin were commissioned by The San Francisco Chronicle to collect stories from gay San Franciscans whose futures were unexpectedly returned to them, and for which they were not entirely prepared. They found men who were thriving, but also dealing with huge challenges – financial, emotional, as well as medical.

Last Men Standing opens a window into a neglected story of the AIDS epidemic: those who
survived but still carry enormous burdens. This film gives them a voice, and helps begin an
overdue conversation.

Last Men Standing: Dirs Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin 2016 USA 65 min
Community Partners: Cascade AIDS Project & Our House