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Past Films

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

  • Starring: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel
  • Director: Robin Campillo
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Language: French
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 140 min.

Early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, ACT UP Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle. [Cannes]

"This film has what its title implies: a heartbeat. It is full of cinematic life. "
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"[A] sprawling, thrilling, finally heart-bursting group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists in the early 1990s. "
- Guy Lodge, Variety
"The film delves deep into the soul of a fundamentally important cause, with a slice-of-life look at a time in history that feels incredible urgent in today’s torn-up world. "
- Nikola Grozdanovic, The Playlist
"In its balance of resistance, agony, and joy, BPM (Beats Per Minute) approaches this subject with the the nuance and empathy it deserves."
- Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic
"BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a moving, lump-in-the-throat love story but should also resonate on a political level as a testimony to the power of activism to awaken an indifferent world."
- Allan Hunter, Screen International
"BPM is an affecting memorial about being alive and being heard - a movie that says the only things that matter in life are love, righteous struggle, and the joy of being with others. It shakes all three until their atoms get up and dance."
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Here, as characters hit the streets for demonstrations, hit the discos to relax and hit the skids when they get sick, you're there with them, pulse pounding out more beats per minute than you might have thought possible."
- Bob Mondello, NPR
"A wrenching love story, set in Paris in the early 1990s, told against the background of ACT-UP AIDS activists fighting for their lives. Ron Campillo's raw and riveting film musters the emotional power to floor you."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"The beauty of BPM, and what connects its hard-fought, well-remembered battles to those of the present, lies in its willingness to embrace life in all its messiness, its refusal to pretend that the personal isn't also political and vice versa. You may well weep at the end, but you might also feel like snapping your fingers. "
- Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
"in spite of its historical specificity, BPM never feels like a bulletin from the past. Its immediacy comes in part from the brisk naturalism of the performances and the nimbleness and fluidity of the editing. The characters are so vivid, so real, so familiar that it’s impossible to think of their struggles — and in some cases their deaths — as unfolding in anything but the present tense. "
- A.O. Scott, The New York Times