The First Fallen – small town Brazilian community grapples for hope during the early years of AIDS
The First Fallen takes places at the turn of 1983 in a small Brazilian town, where a group of LGBTQIA+ men and women celebrate the New Year with no idea of what’s on the horizon. The biologist Suzano knows something terrible is disrupting his body. Uncertain of his future and discouraged by the lack of information, he reaches out to his trans artist friend Rose and gay videomaker Humberto, both equally ill. Together they’ll try to survive the first wave of the AIDS epidemic.
Says de Oliveira, “The first time that I understood the word gay describe me, the word plague was already intrinsically attached to it. The people I wanted to be as a kid were dying on TV, and I was told that for every pop idol in the spotlight there were hundreds of thousands in the darkness, invisible. Those were my elders, and yet I was denied their humanity.
“AIDS is not only a subject to explore, but the very foundation of my identity, of the identity of every LGBTQIA+ person, as tragic as it is transformative. To film those first bodies, to listen to those first voices, to rally behind those first radicals, it’s to reject that invisibility. The First Fallen is the loving imagination of lineage, the invention of my family tree. A film about the dream of being yourself fully, whatever weight the world puts on your shoulders; about the importance of community and the support from our chosen family. The stories never told deserve a place at the forefront. These characters created the possibility of me, not the other way around.”
After strong festival play in some of the prestigious film festivals around the globe, writer/director Rodrigo de Oliveira’s powerful LGBTQ drama about the start of the AIDS epidemic in 80s Brazil releases this February in theaters and On Demand.
THE FIRST FALLEN releases in theatres Feb 10, 2023 and DVD and On Demand February 21, 2023. Availalble from Dark Star Pictures.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.