More Americans have been lost to AIDS than in all the U.S. wars since 1900. Yet few know about the National AIDS Memorial Grove, a seven-acre sanctuary hidden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and a testament to lives lost at a time when the stigma of AIDS forced many to grieve in silence. THE GROVE shows how a community in crisis found healing and remembrance, and how the seeds of a few visionary environmentalists blossomed into something larger than they could have imagined.
But the fight to remember takes on an unexpected dimension when stakeholders of the Grove seek broader public recognition through an international design competition, and a heated debate ensues about what constitutes an appropriate memorial for the AIDS pandemic. Thirty years after the first diagnosed cases of AIDS, how do we mark a time of unimaginable loss? And what does it mean to be a national memorial? (2011, 57 min.)
– John-Manuel Adriote, Huffington Post
"A powerful tale...highly recommended."
– C. Cassady, Video Librarian
"A nicely made study of the difference between a personal memorial and a public one."
– Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
"A terrific documentary [that] offers no easy answers on how best to memorialize the dead. But the film’s gentle, insightful approach is a fine place to start."
– Greg Evans, Bloomberg Press
"Quietly but effectively makes the point that the AIDS epidemic itself is in danger of being permanently marginalized."
– David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
"An intriguing and affective examination...a balanced narrative that allows the viewer to appreciate both sides of the issue without minimalizing either."
– Bob Etier, Technorati
"For too long, AIDS was repressed, unspoken by authorities, unacknowledged by official bodies, and devastatingly underrepresented in all manner of public forums."
– Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"A thoughtful and compelling examination of the complexity around loss and remembrance, with a surprising reach beyond the landscape of the National AIDS Memorial."
– Jason Plourde, Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
"Both thought- and emotion-provoking...a beautiful film."
– Ken Eisen, Maine International Film Festival
"An awesome exploration of an overlooked landmark."
– David Lamble, Bay Area Reporter
"How exactly to honour our dead is the question at the heart of the very polished THE GROVE."
– Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Beautifully communicates the tremendous losses of the early AIDS epidemic...a heartrending work that provokes questions about the narrative of history and the intentions of memorials."
– Ashley Melzer, Independent Weekly
"An emotional, sometimes uncomfortable, journey through communal and individual grief, memory and representation."
– Fred Swanson, Director, Gay City Health Project
Andy Abrahams Wilson
Post Production Supervisor
Independent Television Service (ITVS)
California Council for the Humanities
Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund
Wells Fargo Foundation
Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund
Small Change Foundation
and hundreds of individual donors
Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Best Documentary
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Frameline San Francisco LGBT Film Festival
New Hope Film Festival
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Atlanta International Film Festival
GayCharlotte Film Festival
Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Ft. Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival
Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
DocMiami International Film Festival
Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival
DocuWest International Film
FestivalLife and Death Matters Festival
Sausalito Film Festival
Maine International Film Festival
Out Twin Cities Film Festival