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filling in the gaps

The Mess He Made from Matthew Puccini on Vimeo.

World Premiere: 2017 SXSW Film Festival
Short of The Week: shortoftheweek.com/2017/09/29/the-mess-he-made/
Winner: Best Drama & Best Performance, 2017 NoBudge Awards
Winner: Best Actor, 2017 Tacoma Film Festival
Winner: Best Actor, 2017 24FPS International Film Festival
Special Jury Mention: 2017 NewFest Film Festival
Top 3 Finalist: 2017 Iris Prize

We are in 2019, right? This is not the early 80's. And still, this short makes total sense. Back then you just KNEW that going to the doctor was a game of Russian roulette. Now we know better. Now we have all those wonderful pills and years and years of awareness. 

Still, we fret. You know some people still do and it's totally justified. After almost four decades of good and bad news we still feel that sensation at the bottom of our stomachs when we go in 'to know'. Even when we know we've been careful. Even when we know who is it we trust. Even when we know who is it we love.

This short gave me the chills because it distills that feeling of uncertainty. There really is no room for suspension of disbelief. It gave me that sensation that everything could change with just a few words or in two or three frames. Because for all the progress that has been made, it seems we still need ACTUP.



  1. a few of the people on my blogroll are HIV+. and yet they persist, for which I am grateful.

    1. Absolutely! Every friend I know who has survived the plague is a treasure.

  2. Such a powerful ten minutes. The anxiety is palpable. And the ending for us could be inconclusive: is that fear or relief?

    And you’re right. This still goes on today. We still need the reality check. Our actions have consequences. Great reminder, babe.

    XOXO 馃懆‍❤️‍馃拫‍馃懆

    1. I know bae. This generation is way too confident overall.

  3. I have a friend who was tested back in the late 80s and found to be HIV+. As the doctor told him of the diagnosis, and suggested he find another doctor--he said he could [wouldn't] help--my friend noticed that the nursing staff was cleaning off every surface he had touched since coming into the office.
    Even as late as the late 80s people, medical people, thought you could catch "it" by touching a doorknob, or a table or whatever.
    We've come a long way, but there's still road ahead.

    1. Oh, the stories were heartbreaking. And still, the stigma lingers...

  4. Don't forget, it was called GRID before AIDS!

    I remember going for my first AIDS test in 1985. I went to a doctor who didin't know me. When I told him I was gay, he immediately put on gloves and kept a distance while examining me. Back then, you were given a number, or code instead of using your name and social security number. It took two or three weeks to get results.

    AIDS was the reason I quit working in rehab medicine.

    We should all remember the importance of people like Larry Kramer and Ann Northrop (others too) for their valiant actions for awareness to the world through the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power. aka, ACTUP.

    1. But of course! The Normal Heart was the first play I saw that talked about AIDS that I saw staged. It made an impression. I have been looking for an ACTUP button a friend gave me years ago and I can’t find it!

    2. The only button (or Tee-shirt) I've seen are at the National Stonewall Museum and Archive here in Ft. Lauderdale/Wilton Manors, Fl.

    3. Wait what? I may have a historical artifact and I can’t find it? 馃檮


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