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Published on Sep 5, 2011
www.side-effect-happiness.com 52 minutes, color, Germany, 2011 Documentary by Julia Csabai and Alida Szabo
Wolfgang and Roland are 72 and 58 years old and have lived together in Berlin for 11 years. They say, that today their life is happier and more fulfilled, than it was 25 years ago, before they met and neither Wolfgang, nor Roland knew, that they are HIV Positiv. Before the Virus, they lived an unremarkable middle-class life. They had a job and forgotten, faded or suppressed artistic ambitions. Back when they grew up and first discovered their affections towards men, homosexuality was still considered a felony in Germany.
Both are deeply moved when they tell us how the Virus irrupted their lives. How it changed everything. They buried their lovers, too many friends and lost their jobs. For them, as for the many thousands infected in the 80's, a survival seemed hopeless. The virus dominated their lives and the numerous side effects of the first medications robbed their vital force and dignity.
Today all this hardly meets the eye anymore. Thanks to the new medication-cocktails Wolfgang and Roland regained authority over their time. Now, of all times, in this of all situations, they spotted their chance: the possibility of creativity and unhoped, fulfilled love. Their solitude turned into a mutual, creative zest for life. Although today they feel fine and are doing well, the shadow of the illness still keeps re-visiting from time to time.
The emotional and often mirthful double-portrait accompanies Wolfgang and Roland through five years, 2005-2010. It is a romantic movie about two charming old Gentlemen.