Buddies movie art

Reviewed by Craig C., Senior Materials Handler

Buddies is available to stream on Kanopy.


The first dramatic feature to tackle the AIDS crisis – 1985’s Buddies – is also one of the most heartbreaking. Written, produced, directed, and edited by Arthur J. Bressan, Jr., a pioneer of independent gay cinema whose career was tragically cut short in 1987, Buddies charts the political awakening of a gay man in his mid-20s (and a committed relationship) who volunteers to be a “Buddy” for a hospitalized AIDS patient who has no one else in his life.

Over the three months that they get to know each other, David struggles to understand Robert, who’s only seven years his senior, but having come out at the dawn of the gay liberation movement, his experiences as a gay man are vastly different. Robert is also putting on as brave a face as possible in the face of certain death, which is why the support he receives is so crucial. By being willing to step outside his comfort zone, David grows as a person, impacting both of their lives in the process.

This is review is part of the Finding Value series, inspired by the eleven core values central to the Library's mission. Tune in as Library staff review books and movies that highlight the values accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship.