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120 battements par minute

In the early 1990s, Parisian activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) fights against civilian and governmental ignorance as well as the corrupt pharma companies.


The heartbeat rises. Time is running out. „We are dying“ is a slogan suggestion for a poster that the Parisian activists ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unlead Power) want to use to wake French citizens up with in the early 1990s. Other posters show protected gay anal sex, lesbian oral sex, and a heroin needle with “C‘est la vie“ written underneath. Their battle cry isn‘t just directed at people‘s ignorance (“I won‘t catch your fucked up AIDS“), but is also geared towards the corrupt pharma companies and the disease itself. A person can die at any moment, that‘s why there‘s only one way to move: forward. The mostly young activists are thereby forced to fight on the frontline and die one after the other. Life is denied to them: “I‘m HIV positive, that‘s all.“

Questions about how to proceed in the right way eats at the group from the inside as well as outside. Sleazy suits accuse them of behaving inappropriately during their activist appearances. At meetings the boundaries of non-violence are hotly debated, but it‘s hard not to lose your poise when things are so unjust. It‘s especially difficult for Sean, played by Nahuel Pérez Biscayar with a fiery presence. Time is running out for him and he is losing his energy. But he also says that life has become more intense since he got diagnosed. Even though everything seems unrelenting and pointless, the small glimmer of hope suddenly seems big. At the end everything is quiet, until the heartbeat kicks in again.

Hardy Zaubitzer

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: 120 battements par minute
Frankreich 2017, 143 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Robin Campillo
Author: Robin Campillo, Philippe Mangeot
DOP: Jeanne Lapoirie
Montage: Robin Campillo
Music: Arnaud Rebotini
Distributor: Edition Salzgeber
Cast: Adele Haenel, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Antoine Reinartz, Yves Heck
FSK: 16
Release: 30.11.2017




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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