Last Men Standing: Remembering the Survivors

Everyone expected to die. But they didn’t. Today about 80,000 people in Canada are living with HIV. On World AIDS Day, Reel Causes is honoured to partner with the Positive Living Society of BC to present the Vancouver Premiere of the poignant new documentary Last Men Standing, about long- term survivors of HIV and AIDS. Produced by San Francisco Chronicle, and directed by two of its visual journalists, Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin, the film takes us on a intimate journey into the lives of eight men who, despite their early HIV diagnoses, have survived against the odds, finding unexpected life and love. The post-film discussion ‘Remembering The Survivors,’ will include Positive Living, participants in the film and local long term HIV survivors.

The Film

Last Men Standing

December 1, 2016,
Doors: 6:30, Show Time: 7:00

Running time: 66 minutes

Rich and distinguished stories unfold among the lives of long-term survivors who have learned how to celebrate, heal, love, and thrive after the devastation of the early AIDS crisis. In this cathartic and intimate documentary, eight men look back on their experiences and then toward the future with the strength and resiliency they have cultivated over the past 30 years.

Survivors are still affected by the trauma of not only their diagnosis but also the loss of community and way of life. Nobody knew they would grow old with AIDS. Many abandoned careers and went on long-term disability to wait out their death sentence, and now they face an uncertain economic future. As they age, and as the Castro neighbourhood changes, long-term survivors are also creating new ways to connect, and to find meaning and community. This meditative documentary, the first full-length film produced by the San Francisco Chronicle, draws attention to the emotional and inspiring history of the city’s gay community in the post-AIDS era.

The film, by Chronicle staff visual journalists Erin Brethauer and Tim Hussin, was created over the course of 10 months and was released in conjunction with a special 20-page newspaper section featuring a story by Erin Allday and an accompanying online package of stories, videos and interactive graphics.VQFFLogoFullColourHorizontal

Reel Causes is pleased to co-present Last Men Standing with our friends at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, who tipped us off about this fantastic film.



Consumer Protection BC has rated this film 14+

The Cause

Positive Living Society of BC

The Positive Living Society of British Columbia was originally founded in 1986 to provide a forum for people living with HIV/AIDS to advocate for their rights and their health issues. Until March 2011, Positive Living BC was known as the BC Persons With AIDS Society (BCPWA) and throughout its mandate, it has existed to enable persons living with AIDS and HIV disease to empower themselves through mutual support and collective action.

Positive Living BC provides a comprehensive suite of programs and services, including: prison outreach, healing retreats, treatment counselling, help accessing financial, health-related and other types of assistance and more. With more than 5,700 HIV-positive members and a Board of Directors composed entirely of HIV-positive members (unique among major agencies in Canada), Positive Living BC and its members have a lot to say.

On World AIDS Day (December 1st), Positive Living BC and Reel Causes will screen Last Men Standing and afterwards have a discussion about the complexity of life after the epidemic, including participants featured in the film and local long term HIV and AIDS survivors.


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