Movie “Philadelphia”

philadelphia-movie-poster-1993-1010471485Movie “Philadelphia” tell us a story that a person with HIV/AIDS fought for rights. “The movie signaled a shift in Hollywood films toward more realistic depictions of gays and lesbians.” (Philadelphia. Dir. Jonathan Demme. Perf. Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington. TriStar Pictures, 1993.)

In this film, Andrew was infected with AIDS because of homosexuality. He was considered demoralization and dismissed by his boss. Consequently, he started to sue his former firm for wrongful termination and to fight the bigotry faced by people with AIDS. (Maslin, 1993) There are some movie plots I would like to share with you. Joe Miller refused to act as Andrew’s defender at first. His homophobia derived from a hostile social environment for homosexuals as ordinary people. Andrew was discriminated against by the librarian and the public, when he was looking for case analysis about the “AIDS discrimination”. The story is not complicated, but an ethical issue has been raised in the United States. What attitude to take towards the people with AIDS? It is a widely accepted principle that people with AIDS need our love, care and help. Some viewers might be uncomfortable during the scene when Andrew was dancing with Miguel. That is because homosexual was disgraced by mainstream society even in the United States. Those viewers would be shamed by the couple’s behavior.In the film, Andrew and his partner Miguel have not been given unequal treatment from his family. There is a dialogue between family members. Andrew’s father: “We’re incredibly proud of you.” Andrew’s mother: “You get in there and you fight for your rights.” Andrew: “Gee, I love you guys.” (Maslin, 1993) And I clearly remember at the end of the movie, when he laying in the bed, his mother said: “Goodbye, my angel, my sweet boy.” Fortunately, Andrew had a warm family, and the family support gave him great strength and courage.

However, discrimination and prejudice remain problems. The film ended in such a sad and helpless way. Thankfully, the filmmaker, Jonathan Demme, was not afraid to evoke this social issue to which little political attention has been paid. I believe that it could be regarded as a symbol of social progress.




Maslin, J. (1993). Review/Film: Philadelphia; Tom Hanks as an AIDS Victim Who Fights the Establishment. December 22, 1993. Retrieved from


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