In Campillo’s film, Euphoria meets despair whilst the racing heartbeat resembles a ticking time-bomb. It really is a race against time, because it’s the 1990s, the AIDS epidemic is raging in France cloaked in the silent acquiescence of the government and pharmaceutical industry. Parisian ACT UP activists try to break through that silence with rallies, marches and vigils. 120 Beats Per Minute is filled with passion and fury, a portrait of youth’s encounter with death, a full-throated politically-charged film that includes a love story. It is also a collective image of a generation, maybe the last of its kind, that passionately believed in the possibility of change and that politics had to be fought for in the streets. Winner of the Cannes Grand Prix (Pedro Almodóvar headed the jury that year), Campillo’s work revisits the 1990s when the director was an ACT UP activist and lost his partner to AIDS.
Cannes IFF 2017 – FIPRESCI Prize, François Chalais Award, Grand Prize of the Jury, Queer Palm
Born in 1962, Campillo is a French filmmaker, screenwriter, and editor, as well as frequent collaborator with Laurent Cantet with whom he made six films, including Return to Ithaca (2015), The Class (2008), Time Out (2001), and Human Resources (1999). He directed the César-nominated film Easter Boys (2013) and They Came Back (2004), in which zombies attack a French small town. 120 Beats Per Minute revisits the days when Campillo was an ACT UP activist and when he, like one of the characters in the film, lost a partner to AIDS.
2004 Les revenants / They Came Back
2013 Chłopaki ze Wschodu / Eastern Boys
2017 120 uderzeń serca / 120 battements par minute / 120 Beats per Minute