Picks and Pans Review: Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt

updated 10/16/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/16/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Sun., Oct. 15, 10 P.M. ET)

A+

As powerful and moving a documentary as you will ever see, Common Threads looks at the making of the AIDS Quilt—the amalgam of individual memorial quilts (now as big as 11 football fields) designed and sewn since 1987 by the loved ones of people who died of AIDS. Friends, lovers and family recall their lost lovers, sons, brothers, fathers, in touching stories, home movies, photos, anecdotes that help humanize the scourge. Sober narration (by Dustin Hoffman), haunting music (by Bobby McFerrin) and grim statistics (we're told 335 Americans died from AIDS in 1981 and that the toll climbed to nearly 60,000 by 1989) help increase the considerable impact. The documentary suggests that the federal government and television news were inexcusably slow to respond to the crisis. This one stays with you.

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