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“BPM” | Supplied photo

Today at the Chicago International Film Festival: ‘BPM’

SHARE Today at the Chicago International Film Festival: ‘BPM’
SHARE Today at the Chicago International Film Festival: ‘BPM’

French director Robin Campillo (“Eastern Boys”) joined the Paris chapter of Act Up in 1992. Through incisively designed editing, he interlaces AIDS activists’ outrage, theatrics and impassioned debate. A love story arrives late and plays a rather small role until the finale of this powerful 144-minute drama. Characters are well drawn but Campillo focuses on group dynamics — meetings, protests, gay pride parades and strobe-lit dance floors of clubs. The roster of issues includes protease inhibitor drug trials by a pharmaceutical company, condoms in high schools, needle exchanges, and hemophiliacs at risk of exposure to the HIV virus. Homophobia — and the dance music signaled in the title abbreviation for beats-per-minute — are found in the background.“BPM” sums up its dialectics when one comrade memorializes a late militant: “Sean lived politics in the first person.”11:30 a.m. Oct. 15.

The Chicago International Film Festival continues through Oct. 26 at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois.

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