Portuguese film is a lyrical exploration of one man’s HIV clinical trials

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Joaquim Pinto has been a cornerstone of Portuguese cinema for three decades—as a director, producer, cinematographer, and sound engineer. Now 56, he has also lived with HIV for two decades. His new film, What Now? Remind Me, a documentary opeing today, chronicles a year of clinical trials.

Chosen by the New York Times as a critics’ pick, the film has earned rapturous acclaim for its lyrical, unflinching exploration of “life, love, suffering, and impermanence.” Shot over one year, What Now? is described as a “notebook” or video essay that alternates between a Madrid hospital and the farm in Portugal where Pinto lives with his husband, Nuno Leonel. Intermingled with scenes of sickness and fatigue are contemplative studies of nature and landscapes, lending the film a kind of hushed grandeur. 

To quote the Times: “Whether watching a virus replicate under a microscope or a dragonfly wobble interminably on a blade of grass, this meditation on mortality conveys more than anything the joy of being alive.”

 

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