“120 Beats Per Minute” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

11 October, 2017

Director: Robin Campillo
Screenwriters: Robin Campillo, Philippe Mangeot
Director of Photography: Jeanne Lapoirie
Nahuel Pérez BiscayartArnaud ValoisAdèle Haenel

Synopsis: Paris during the early 1990s, the AIDS epidemic has killed thousands of young men and women, many of whom refuse to be silenced when it comes to the disease’s devastating effects on the gay community. During this period, a group of activists come together in the hope of raising awareness and fighting for their right to treatment.

120 Beats Per Minute Review:

A stunning debate movie where the facts are more staggering than the fiction, “120 Beats Per Minute” is a suitable starting point when trawling back through the HIV/AIDS timeline, heading a protest of historical standing against a backdrop of love-making and trance music. Giving new meaning to the saying ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’, “120 Beats Per Minute” rallies behind its cause with the facts clearly established, aiming to eradicate stigma through stark honesty as writer-director Robin Campillo gets straight down to business from an informative angle.

Observing the virus’s impact on both the community and the individual, “120 Beats Per Minute” presents the entire spectrum of HIV infection; from the mother with a haemophiliac son to the couples brought together by the suffering in their community. Bestowing only ephemeral moments of respite on its characters, the film puts faces to statistics, depicting urgency through thinning bodies, scabs, and sores yet rarely diminishing the determination of those with a very real passion for justice who retain the ability to laugh, dance, and be intimate with their friends and lovers.

Knitting together a group of militant activists yet miraculously conveying a larger issue within a mostly confined context, Robin Campillo envisions a lot in a little, using the connection between protagonists Sean and Nathan as a central point of reference but also exploring his ensemble cast and giving each character their own unique moment to shine. A daring alternative to the more happy-go-lucky LGBT features, “120 Beats Per Minute” throws its blood bombs right on target, turning the Seine red and igniting an arresting and audacious conversation-starter based on very real and very significant events from the past.


Review Date
120 Beats Per Minute