Narrated by Conigrave himself, Remembering The Man tells the story of the highly acclaimed author and actor – from youth to adulthood. Tim was a talented playwright, actor and a dedicated activist during the AIDS crisis. After experiencing a romantic relationship that deeply impacted him and changed his entire perspective on love, Conigrave (George Banders) writes his famous memoir, Holding the Man, in which he describes his life-changing affair. The partner and later husband in his 15-year relationship is John Caleo (Reece Manning), a handsome and popular young man.
Their romance starts off with some innocent flirting during high school and turns into a powerful, enduring love over the years and up until their death. The two teenagers first meet at the Xavier Jesuit High School in 1976, which was an institution that was relatively open to gay relationships. The youngsters are as different from each other as they can be – Caleo is a well-known football player and Conigrave is interested in literature, theatre and artistic expression. Moreover, the parents and families of both Tim and John are not so understanding and vehemently oppose their relationship. Despite many of the obstacles they encounter, the two lovers manage to stay together until Caleo becomes ill and dies of AIDS. Soon, Conigrave also passes away after battling the same disease – his book is published posthumously.
“Having died in October 1994, shortly after completing his memoir Holding the Man, Conigrave could never have known that what he wrote would go on to become one of Australia’s most beloved non-fiction books. Nor could he have known he would one day be posthumously narrating a moving account of their relationship and the forces he and Caleo battled against, including homophobia, bigotry and the virus that eventually struck them both down.”
— The Guardian
“Remembering The Man is a moving, harrowing documentary about the relationship between Tim Conigrave and John Caleo.”
— Adelaide University Union
Did You Know?
The narration by Tim Conigrave is actually part of an interview the writer did in 1993 for a history project regarding Australia’s response to the ongoing AIDS crisis. Remembering The Man also explores topics that were overlooked in the original memoir such as Conigrave’s sexual experiences with women and feature various scenes from some of the author’s widely-known plays. Review our Gay Themed Films Here
Read our film review on Holding The Man