Sex Positive
Sex Positive (2009)

Documentary filmmaker Daryl Wein explores the life and legacy of revolutionary gay S & M hustler-turned-AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz, whose noble efforts in promoting safe sex during the 1980s have been all but forgotten in the early… More

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Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: June 12, 2009
DVD Release Date: June 15, 2010
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Critic Score: 81% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle

Wein tackles an incredibly complex array of issues surrounding HIV, focusing largely on Berkowitz, once a nice young Jewish kid at Rutgers who found a lucrative career as an S&M hustler before becoming an activist and co-author.

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Kyle Smith
New York Post

For gays who remember the nightmare, Sex Positive may be too depressing to watch. But the movie strikes a cautionary tone for a younger generation that, it says, isn't taking the HIV threat seriously.

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Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru

A thoroughly fascinating, illuminating and vital documentary for everyone young and old.

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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times

Daryl Wein calls attention both to unjustly neglected pioneering AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz and his still widely ignored groundbreaking promotion of safe sex.

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Stephen Holden
New York Times

The movie jolts you with the realization that the AIDS epidemic and the public debate about such issues have retreated so far under the news radar as to be half-forgotten.

David Noh
Film Journal International

Scruffy but arresting documentary about an ever-embattled, pioneering fighter in the gay AIDS wars.

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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Wein clearly cares for his subject. Yet he leaves room for our admiration and our ambivalence. This is an achievement of heart and of mind.

Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News

Though he made an impact on thousands of lives -- or so, this intermittently compelling biography suggests -- AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz remains unknown and uncelebrated, alone and barely scraping by.

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Bill Weber
Slant Magazine

Sex Positive uses the dual activist/sexual outlaw persona of "safer sex" pioneer Richard Berkowitz as a prism through which to view the life-and-death struggles of an era.

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More reviews for Sex Positive

Flixster Audience Score: 58% Flixster User Reviews
Jason Vargo
This woefully short doc, in essence, tells the story of the invention of safe sex and the split within the gay community over how HIV is transmitted. On that… More

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