Sex Positive | Chicago Reader

Sex Positive

Rated R 2008

This engrossing documentary focuses on gay journalist Richard Berkowitz, who teamed up with pioneering doctor Joseph Sonnabend and singer-activist Michael Callen in the early 80s to advocate for safer sex to control the spread of AIDS. Berkowitz was a complex and controversial figure: his writing examined the role of internalized homophobia in gay promiscuity, which prompted some to attack him as “sex negative,” yet he himself was a drug-abusing S-M prostitute. Through candid interviews with Berkowitz (now middle-aged and living on disability) and others (including playwright Larry Kramer and author Edmund White), video maker Daryl Wein shows how the hedonism of the 70s gave way to often angry political activism—and warns a new generation about the dangers of unprotected sex. 76 min.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Daryl Wein

Producer: Daryl Wein and David Oliver Cohen

Cast: Richard Berkowitz, Don Adler, Susan Brown, Demetre Daskalakis, Richard Dworkin, William Haseltine, Francisco Roque, Gabriel Rotello, Dr. Joseph Sonnabend and Bill Stackhouse

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