The Books of James

Ho Tam

2002 | 00:16:30 | United States | English | Color | Mono |

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: AIDS/HIV, Activism, Aging, Humor, LGBTQ

Through a stack of personal journals, this video reconstructs a biography of the South Dakota-born, New York City-enlightened artist James Wentzy. Tracing his days starting out as a struggling artist and later involved as an AIDS activist, the video provides an intimate portrait of a neglected hero. Wentzy reads from journals and shares old family snapshots and notebook sketches. “I hope I don’t die of sainthood,” Wentzy jokes in an entry from 1990—the pivotal time when he was becoming involved with ACT-UP and beginning to live healthier after the revelation of his HIV-positive status.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2004

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2005

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2005