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First Fallen (The)

Country: Brazil, Language: Portuguese, 107 mins

Original Title

Os Primeiros Soldados
  • Director: Rodrigo de Oliveira
  • Writer: Rodrigo de Oliveira
  • Producer: Rodrigo de Oliveira, Vitor Graize

CGiii Comment

There will be tears.

For some unknown reason, it is impossible to get a fairly accurate figure for global HIV/AIDS deaths - according to, 36.3 million [27.2 million–47.8 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

The First Fallen is the story of just three lives lost. Terrified, isolated and powerless, they each clung onto life with every fibre of their deteriorating being...they became their own doctors, their own nurses.

How many Declarations of Geneva were ignored? How many Hippocratic oaths were broken? As many, in the medical profession, refused to treat those who needed their help most...

Rodrigo de Oliveira's film doesn't shy away from the inhumanity. It's a tough, intense watch...especially for those who remember and those who lost. And...for those who helped, for those who turned their backs. Because, believe it or not, backs were turned in gay bars and clubs throughout the world.

The first to fall...think, what must have they gone through! This is a glimpse.

And...the resonance this film has today, rings out...many people have led their entire adult lives in a pandemic...36.3 million lost theirs.

Tears flow...still and always.


The(ir) Blurb...

New Year’s Eve, 1983. Suzano has returned from his studies in Paris to spend time with his sister and nephew. Rose, a trans performer, prepares for her latest show at a party. And Humberto, recently arrived in the city, documents it all on shaky camcorder. The future looks bright for them all. But eight months later, all three friends find themselves early victims of the AIDS epidemic. While they don’t understand the disease they have, they are united in their diagnosis and the collective desire to survive through their limited means. Unflinching at times, but also joyful and poetic, Rodrigo de Oliveira’s film gives testimony to fictional victims and reminds us of the countless real people whose stories have been lost.

Grace Barber-Plentie

Cast & Characters

Alex Bonin (as Muriel)
Victor Camilo (as Humberto)
Higor Campagnaro (as Joca)
Renata Carvalho (as Rose)
Clara Choveaux (as Maura Morais)
Johnny Massaro (as Suzano)