Chris McKim’s impassioned documentary Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker takes its title from a homophobic doodle David found on the streets of New York, which he incorporated into a painting of the same name.
This one-hour-and-forty-five-minute documentary makes insightful use of David’s tape recordings, videos, Super 8mm films, and other ephemera, which McKim spent years researching in the Downtown Collection of NYU’s Fales Library.
The film illustrates how the Reagan administration’s inaction during the HIV/AIDS pandemic emboldened David’s activism. “AIDS was revealing exactly what society was about,” suggests his friend and collaborator Marion Scemama in the film. Though the documentary was finished just before the coronavirus pandemic began, viewers of the film, released in the spring of 2020, were immediately struck by the parallel perils and biases of David’s time and our own.
The documentary features a number of of David’s friends and collaborators: photographers Nan Goldin and Peter Hujar, filmmaker Richard Kern, cultural critic Fran Lebowitz, artist Kiki Smith, and many others.