I watched the film "Silverlake: the View From Here" in my video class last year. After seeing it I cried for a week. I have been trying for a year now to try and figure out why this movie had caused me to break down. I do not know anyone with HIV or with AIDS. Tom Joslin, the filmaker, was the first man I had ever seen living with AIDS. After, watching Silverlake again last night I realized what kind of personal sacrifice this man was making by showing the world a very private process; his life, his love, and his death.

I wish that I could thank Tom Joslin for sharing himself with us and making a film that has touched me so deeply. He said at one point in his video diaries, that in the end if you lived a happy life that you got a happy life, and if you choose to lead an anxiety filled pessimistic life that is what you end up with. I still marvel at the simplicity and wisdom of that statement. In some ways this comforts me, It makes life clearer for a moment. I, being young and godless, am scared of death. For me this film was the closest I have come to confronting my own feelings. I wish that there was a cure for death.

But, Silverlake was not only about death and AIDS. Tom Joslin's life was full of love. I feel privileged to have seen how much love there was in his life. And then I watched him waste away and die a miserable death. So in the end Tom Joslin's life was full of love, but AIDS does not discriminate against people whose lives are full of love.

Melanie Schiff

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