The most common approach mistakes in the entertainment world

when the feature film Philadelphia premiered in 1993, it was immediately elevated to the position of a great work in cinema not only for its refined technical characteristics, but because it was the first title on a wide world circuit to speak directly about HIV, which was already a reality in large urban centers in the 1990s. 80 and then correlated with the “homosexual lifestyle”. Interestingly, when we put into perspective that the film was a fight against prejudice, but, at the same time, it was created around this same idea that the virus was related to gays, an ambiguity is established.

At the beginning of the 1990s, representation was so restricted in cinema and TV that no one was interested in problematizing anything. And possibly there weren’t even enough argumentative tools for that. Andrew, the character played by Tom Hanks, at one point in the film, is forced to admit in his court testimony that he contracted the virus while attending a porn theater, even though he already had a solid relationship. The script, then, exposes the reality of a community – not just the gay community, but the male universe as a whole. The audience, of course, processes the idea of ​​punishment against “promiscuity”. A woman who testifies saying she also contracted the disease, caught the virus by transfusion. Perpetuation was guaranteed.

The film goes on to reinforce the cultural codes he was supposed to be fighting. the Miguel of Antonio Banderas is resigned like a woman of athens and the marriage between him and Andrew is doomed to the gradual accompaniment of the purest pain and torture, both physical and psychological. There is no exchange of caresses, there is no affection that overflows from the control of the gaze and they are absolutely heteronormative. denzel washington he was chosen to play the macho lawyer who will defend the case because he is black and thus could understand the exclusion process; another strange way of defending the idea of ​​the film.

Full of awards and respect, the feature ended up doing an important service of clarifying what the disease was, including its forms of contagion and the concern with how society would deal with its existence. These problematic issues raised here in the text did not appear in the conscious field, but reinforce cultural traits that continued to be harmful to representation. It was a typical case of a work made with good intentions, which even fulfilled some of them, but which did not have an exact idea of ​​concerns beyond the surface. And this is much more common than it seems.

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