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AIDS: A VIRUS RESPECTS NO MORALS

West Germany, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Rosa von Praunheim

A reactionary sauna boss whose boyfriend studies theology and sings in Bach choirs, a therapist who teaches death meditation and gymnastics to AIDS patients, a female reporter who dresses up as a male and snoops around the gay scene in search of a story, a woman professor (Dr Blood) who catches the virus in Africa from an ape, a government health minister who makes false promises, wealthy transvestites and gay terrorists people Rosa von Praunheim's latest film.

AIDS: A Virus Respects No Morals approaches its theme with vivid ideas and a macabre 'wrapper'. This is black comedy as an act of furious provocation. "Hardly polite handwringing, this aggressive, indifferently-crafted political burlesque contains more anger, vitality, and social disgust in any given setup than a tasteful protest like Dead End Kids has in its entire length... The film treats the AIDS crisis with abrasive gallows humour, its brashness underscored by von Praunheim's neo-expressionist palette" (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)

"Rosa has been called the enfant terrible of gay filmmakers; his coarse, satiric movies are as critical of the gay subculture as its enemies. It was inevitable that he would make a comedy about AIDS, and that it would be a black comedy filled with everybody's worst fears." (Robert Massa, Village Voice)

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