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4.9 out of 5 stars
Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves [DVD]
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2013
I've watched this on the BBC and online and will be buying this DVD. This series is by no means an easy watch, but it's not meant to be. It's the most heartbreakingly beautiful piece of TV I've seen in a very long time as well as an important piece of social history. I knew from the very first scene, which is bleak and hard hitting, that no punches would be pulled and I was right. This series stands head and shoulders above other pieces of work I've seen on the theme of HIV/AIDS. Unlike other 'offerings', it's not shmaltzy, sentimental or overly dramatic. It's honest, has some effective imagery and symbolism, but tells it like it must have been for so many people. I was only young when the first cases of AIDS came to light but vividly remember it. This series captures the time completely and shows how characters from a range of backgrounds formed a family that came through for each other when so many others didn't. You know from episode 1 that this family is going to dwindle by the end of the last episode. With many dramas like this, you'd stop watching at that point, but this series is strong enough to let you know the outcome at the very start, as it will take you on such a rollercoaster of emotions between its start and end. The characters are brilliant, in particular Benjamin and Paul. There are bits that will make you smile, like Rasmus' embarassing post-graduation ride home, the gang 'Vogueing' at the 80s disco, the wonderful Paul's sarcastic comments, and the nude sunbathing men surprising a boatful of tourists. It's also a beautiful love story. But be prepared to cry and also to feel angry. I expected to cry watching this, but some of the things that upset me were the smallest, most unexpected things - Bengt's cat, Lars-Ake struggling to help carry a coffin - proof that this is a beautifully crafted piece of television. The series would not have been possible without the books of Jonas Gardell (Love / Disease / Death), on which it is based. I really hope that these books become available in the UK as I would certainly read them. 'Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves' moved me immensely. I can't even begin to imagine how those who, like Jonas Gardell, were there through it all, must feel watching it.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2013
This is a beautiful and harrowing story following the relationship of two young men in 1980's Stockholm during the early days of HIV/AIDS. I highly recommend this to everyone so I won't leave any spoilers. all I'll say is that it is a fantastic piece of television that will make you cry like a baby and make you want to call everyone you love just to tell them so.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2013
I have just finished watching this which was shown in 3 parts on BBC4...Set in Stockholm in 1982 it follows the lives of Rasmus (Adam Paullson) and Benjamin (Adan Lundgren) who are both exploring the gay scene for the first time. A fantastic script with strong acting performances means that this thought provoking film will make you laugh and cry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is a made for Swedish TV drama that takes us back to the heady days of the early eighties. We meet Rasmus who has moved to Stockholm from the introverted town of Koppom. He has been the victim of homophobic bullies and just wants to be where he can be himself. So the first place he heads is `The Fairy Ring' - a pick up spot in central station. Anyway he soon finds his feet (and a few other body parts too!) and takes to the gay lifestyle like a duck to water.

We also meet Jehova's Witness Benjamin who stumbles on mutual acquaintance Paul as he goes door knocking, selling `Watchtower and the like. They then meet and soon the two are besotted with each other and they move in together. Well this is 1982 and the awful AIDS epidemic was just appearing and spreading with no known treatments. It is not long before the circle of friends start to feel the tragic effects of the illness. We also get the usual travails of life and relationship upsets and buckets of love.

This is just stupendous, the actors are all amazing and convincing Paul - Simon J. Berger is an absolute star. He camps it up in such a way that he steals every scene but he is the sort of guy you want to be a show stopper. There are moments of joy and moments of deep, deep sadness. This is a real tear jerker. There is also anger; that is anger at the disease and more so at the evil, hurtful homophobia that led to this being labelled a `gay plague' and parents denying their children had died from it and instead blaming nice non gay cancer.

It is in Swedish with a smattering of English and very good sub titles. This was a three part programme so lasts 174 minutes but not one single minute is wasted; this is a truly excellent and moving drama that I feel better for having seen and can only recommend without reservation.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2013
This film is truly remarkable and thought provoking. I am HIV+ and there was a time when I thought I was going to die and the sense of despair is indescribable but this film goes a long way to describing how I felt in those very bleak days, the sense of guilt, worthlessness and extreme emotions, one minute I'd feel so bad that I thought I might end it all and then the sense of true happiness when I met others in the same boat that made it worth fighting on.
It must have been so hard in those early days knowing that it was a certain death sentence. Of course we now have much better medications but that still does not take away the pain I feel every day of my life.
This film portrays the subject of HIV and AIDS so sensitively with excellent performances throughout. This is an absolute MUST WATCH.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2014
This movie was very hard for me to watch. I am gay and grew up in Scandinavia (Copenhagen) during those years. I lost countless friends to AIDS and one day learned that I too was infected. As a long term survirvor I feel that this film tells it exactly as it was. AIDS united many of us in a sorrow and sense of loss that no one deserves to experience - and certainly not at an age when you are supposed to be happy and at the prime of your life. But this movie also depicts the love that bound us together. Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves is a monument to all those loving individuals who lost their lives to this horrible disease. May they never be forgotten.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2014
This 3-episode series are definitely worth watching - the plot is beautiful and meaningful, the love is strong and touching, the music is just matching everything perfectly.

When we are in love, we are in love. Period. Life is short and why not cherish our lives by loving someone who's going to love you back.

Enjoyed deeply!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
This series was the most moving I have seen very true and sad I would recommend this to all to see thank you Swedish tv and bbc 4
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2013
I have just finished watching this most beautiful drama BBC 4 It is harrowing beautiful, poignant, angry, sad and often amusing work. The characters are beautifully formed and the injustice portrayed is so very very sad. It is a truly wonderful film. We need to learn from it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2013
Benefiting from the distance of time this is surely the most poignant and hard hitting of AIDS movies, and a nice surprise that it should come from Sweden.
The warning is writ large and it needs to be!
While watching, it was impossible not to contemplate how fragile and uncertain our little lives are, and how precious the fleeting moments of joy and ecstasy.

Rasmus looks so fragile as he escapes from his cocoon into real life and throbbing temptations.
Beautifully acted throughout, and I like the way the storytelling is non-linear and yet never confusing. Treats you like an adult.
My only criticism is the well intentioned but rather clunky title which I can never remember. I wonder if this is a translation issue?
I've just devoured the three episodes on BBC4 but will buy the DVD as i'm hoping to hear about some of the background information. Nice score which appropriately enough seems to be based on Ravel's famous "Pavane for a dead Infant"
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