A small circle of friends first hear about the Gay-Related-Immune-Disorder in the New York Times in 1980. As each member of the group is slowly affected, their stories are told in touching vignettes as the devastating results of the disease are felt.
Probably the first film to deal head-on with the AIDS crisis, this charts the life of a group of gay male friends from 1981 when they read about a mysterious gay cancer, to a time eight years later when the survivors try to remember a time before the threat of disease hung over them.
Perhaps the best indication of the way homosexuality was treated in 80s America lies in the title; The New York Times refused to list homosexual partners in it's obituary section, instead using the term 'longtime companion' to describe the survivors of the dead.
Its poignant, funny, daring, filled with excellent performances - and highly recommended.