Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves (Torka aldrig tårar utan handskar)

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This true story is a devastating and joyous account of gay life and the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in Sweden. Unlike Dallas Buyers Club, which covers a good part of the same time period, it is more focused on a particular individual, the reaction of the country as a whole, and the effect the disease wreaks upon both.

Anyone who didn’t live through the revelation of the disease, lose friends to it in the early days, or understand why the new same-sex marriage laws and equality in general are so important needs to see this three-part mini-series. For those of us who did or have and continue to, it was a bittersweet remembrance of the past and a filter for the present.

The story isn’t always easy to watch, but it does make it worth your while. And there are moments of true exuberance and celebration. It is well acted, in a delightfully understated Swede way, and will often surprise you, for good and bad, with people’s decisions. 

The production maintains a washed-out pallet, to match the feeling and period of the story, but it is not done in a distracting way. The script and final cut are also interestingly edited and structured to bring it to the present.  Settle in for it some night(s) and bring along a box of tissues and someone you care about, just in case. 

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