19-year-old Rasmus, moves from rural hometown to Stockholm to attend university after graduation. As soon as he arrives in Stockholm he begins to seek out the gay community that he was always suppressing in his small town. He meets and befriends Paul as soon as he arrives in the city. At a Christmas dinner party in Paul's apartment he eventually meets Benjamin, a young man who is struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality (Paul helps him) and faith as a Jehovas Witness. There is instant connection between the two men and they start dating each other. Benjamin is still not out to his family but despite this they soon move in together. Their friend circle is Paul and some of the other close friends who they hang out with Paul. Their tradition is a family christmas dinner. AIDS has started to spread among their friends, end eventually it also reaches them. They are losing their friends and everyone around them. When Rasmus is found HIV-positive, Benjamin finally decides to tell his parents and church elders that he is homosexual, in order to fully support Rasmus. This leads him to being shunned by the church, and forces his parents to stop all contact if they want to remain in the congregation. We see Rasmus and Benjamin struggling with things and others as well. We get glimpses of families not acknowledging that their sons are dying of AIDS or the fact that they were gay. When Rasmus in in a worse condition, Bejamin asks his parents to visit who visit and are the most nicest people. But after his death, just as others Rasmus' parents refuse to accept Benjamin's request concerning Rasmus's funeral, although they had been deeply in love and Benjamin had remained by Rasmus' side throughout. 20 years later, Benjamin is still surviving and dealing fine with support of memories of his love and their time spent together with friends.
The series fundamentally seeks and shows truth of the situation and in what actually happened; yet truth is coupled to the intensity of a well-crafted script and beautifully acted roles, something the pure documentary approach lacks, something that allows the story to become universal, outside time and place. The entire 3 episodes go back and forth with Rasmus' and Benjamin's childhood memories, their growing up times and days, their interactions with their family and surroundings; their current lives and in the last episode, the future life as well. The title of the series comes from an act of kindness when a nurse is wiping tears from an AIDS victim but as per the theory any human contact, even if it’s intended as the smallest act of kindness, risks passing on the infection. This film shows response across society to these extreme new circumstances. It beautifully shows the couples relationship growing, their joys and tribulations, how their contact with their blood families reduce and their new friends-family increase. There are moments on the screen that are emotionally very strong and need a strong heart to watch and sit through those. The fathers crying when Rasmus dies, the families not acknowledging, Benjamin watching everyone dying slowly, Rasmus' reaction of finding out he is positive and dying, Paul's funeral in the end and finally the old Benjamin's outburst when he finally gets to see the place where Rasmus grew up. There were so many scenes where I had a touch time controlling my emotions. Thanks god that the characters and their situations are treated with respect, according them dignity even when life has done its utmost to take that away. The 2 lead actors give honest, moving, raw and believable performances, fighting for their love and acceptance from both their families and society. The actor playing Paul was also very good and he stays happy until the end and keeps the group together.
An important series that shows the dangers of ignorance and prejudice during the worse times of AIDS epidemic; the importance of love, acceptance and remembrance. We who were not in that time period, need to sit back and reflect on those tough times and empathize with people who lived through it. Imagine how emotionally string they would have had to be, when I can't even watch it without crying. (9/10)