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Common Threads


In the late 1970’s, a mysterious new disease began infecting – and killing – gay men. Common Threads tells the powerful story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, as told through the lives of five very diverse individuals who shared a common fate.
Using the monumental NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as its central metaphor, the film weaves together personal memories and television news stories to expose the U.S. government’s failure to respond to the growing epidemic, and the vibrant protest movement that was born as a result.


  • A documentary with the cumulative emotional impact of great tragedy.
    Los Angeles Times
  • As powerful and moving a documentary as you will ever see. A+
  • Slams through stereotypes… Slowly, carefully, powerfully, Common Threads takes the cold statistics and gives them very recognizable faces.
    The New York Times
  • Powerful and poignant, this is a lump-in-your-throat documentary that never sacrifices intelligence to emotion and never sensationalizes.
    Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Simply stunning… a study in devotion and anger and courage at a dark time. And through it all, it’s love that shines the brightest.
  • An uncommon labor of love, compassion and bravery.
    New York Newsday
  • A great documentary.
    The Washington Post

Festival Participation

  • Berlin Film Festival
    Interfilm Jury Award
  • Sydney Film Festival
  • Academy Award
    Best Documentary Feature
  • George Foster Peabody Award
    Excellence in Broadcasting
  • Emmy Award
    Original Score

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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