August / September 1994
POZ VCR: Deaf Heaven
by Stephen Cloutier
Frameline's Deaf Heaven recalls Holocaust
Inspired by the deaths of four of his friends from AIDS, Steve Levitt wrote a series of short stories about the experience, which he subsequently made into the film Deaf Heaven. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award. Deaf Heaven, available to any organization or group requesting it, has been shown around the world at several film festivals, winning best short film at last year's San Francisco Gay Film Festival.
Although AIDS figured prominently in the film, Deaf Heaven is not strictly an AIDS movie. The story revolves around Paul, whose lover Matthew is living with AIDS. Paul is befriended by Jake, an older Jewish man who survived the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The film subtly compares the AIDS pandemic to the Holocaust.
Deaf Heaven is essentially about faith and witness -- a moving, supportive film for anyone experiencing the pain of loss. It will make you cry and truly convince you that you, in fact, are not alone on this painful journey.
Any organization interested in screening the film should contact Nancy Fishman at Frameline, 346 9th Street, San Francisco, California 94103, (415) 703-8650.
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