Directed by Tom Joslin, Peter Friedman • Documentary • With Tom Joslin, Mark Massi • 1993 • 99 minutes
Independent Filmmaker Tom Joslin and his longtime lover Mark Massi battle AIDS in the days before effective medication existed. Silverlake Life debuted in 1993 — a time when demonizing queerness was a bipartisan hobby, and the AIDS crisis was mainly discussed through statistics. The film, co-directed by Tom Joslin and Peter Friedman, is Joslin’s video diary, shot as he and his partner Mark Massi were dying of AIDS. It remains a crucial record of daily life in the depths of the AIDS crisis. Silverlake Life is singular, as it captures the love and loss like few other films.
The documentary won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, and the public television series POV broadcast it later that year, for which it won a Peabody Award.