The Hollywood Reporter

by David Rooney, Friday, 14 October 2011

An emotionally powerful documentary portrait with an impassioned voice that befits its subject, Jeffrey Schwarz’s VITO marries personal and cultural history in its account of the life and activism of Vito Russo, a pivotal figure in both the early gay-rights movement and the fight against AIDS.

More at: The Hollywood Reporter

Variety

by Ronnie Scheib, Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Jeffrey Schwarz's involving biodoc on Vito Russo, leading gay activist, film scholar and author of "The Celluloid Closet," portrays a vibrant, charismatic, remarkably consistent individual, as generous in his personal life as in his political engagements.

Schwarz...makes his subject a dramatic focal point in the history of gay rights from the Stonewall riots to the AIDS epidemic.

More at: Variety

THE WASHINGTON POST

by Hank Steuver, Monday, 23 July 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz’s moving documentary, “Vito,” airing on HBO on Monday night, is a portrait of the kind of hot-and-bothered activist who seems to exist less and less in this era of black-tie fundraisers and “Modern Family” quasi-acceptance.

More at: THE WASHINGTON POST

THE NEW YORK TIMES

by Neil Genzlinger, Monday, 23 July 2012

After watching “Vito,” a documentary about Vito Russo on Monday night on HBO, you might be tempted to think, “Wow, that was an amazingly full life.” But really it was a life cut short...

More at: THE NEW YORK TIMES

TIME

by James Poniewozik, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I highly recommend it to anyone interest in pop culture, in civil rights, or in how the two are deeply connected.

More at: TIME

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

by David Wiegand, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

By the end of Jeffrey Schwarz's 2011 documentary on gay rights and AIDS activist Vito Russo, viewers may very well conclude they've learned something about what defines a hero.

More at: SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

LA WEEKLY

by Ernest Hardy, Monday, 23 July 2012

Director Jeffrey Schwarz pulls together staggering archival footage (from protest marches to clips of Russo's public-access TV show to bits of Bette Midler performing at the Continental Baths) and moving interviews with friends, family and colleagues to powerfully illustrate how Russo's personal story is one of the archetypal queer American stories.

More at: LA WEEKLY

THE GRID

by Jason Anderson, Monday, 23 July 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz’s enlightening bio-doc proves that there was much more to Russo’s life than his cinephilia.

More at: THE GRID

CINESNATCH

by Cinesnatch, Monday, 23 July 2012

Schwarz’ restrained approach allows the audiences to marvel at how truly incredible his contributions were, and how lucky we are for the stars to have aligned so perfectly for this man to have graced this earth.

More at: CINESNATCH

TORONTO.COM

by Bruce DeMara, Monday, 23 July 2012

Vito Russo is a real-life hero. Vito, the documentary, tells us why.

More at: TORONTO.COM

DocGeeks.com

by Kristy Hutter, Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Seldom do we see the side of history told by those who have suffered at the hands of socially constructed marginalisation and isolation...Vito Russo acknowledged the injustices taking place within American society and stood up against the system.

More at: DocGeeks.com

Metro Weekly

by Sean Bugg, Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Like its subject, VITO is vibrant, argumentative, embracing and engaging. A stirring reminder of one the founders of the LGBT movement, it's also one of this year's films that should not be missed.

More at: Metro Weekly

HONOLULU WEEKLY

by Bob Green, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Vito is a considerable achievement. Its completeness is exemplary; its boldness necessary; its graphic visuals dramatic and moving. It treats its audiences as intelligent, concerned citizenry, capable of assimilating history and making sense of it.

More at: HONOLULU WEEKLY

THE BOSTON GLOBE

by Matthew Gilbert, Monday, 23 July 2012

HBO has become an appealing outlet for mainstream documentaries, and “Vito” is a good example of why. It’s a nicely assembled, topical film that gives us both a sweeping view of gay rights across almost 30 years, as well as an intimate look at an extraordinary person swept up in those times.

More at: THE BOSTON GLOBE

ZAP 2 IT

by John Crook, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Less than a month after Entertainment Weekly devoted a cover story to how gay actors today have a fairly easy time coming out of the closet, HBO remembers a largely forgotten maverick who attacked homophobia head-on four decades ago in VITO.

More at: ZAP 2 IT

WINDY CITY TIMES

by Richard Knight, Jr., Monday, 23 July 2012

Throughout July, HBO is running two fascinating queer-themed documentaries that, on the surface, have nothing in common.

More at: WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL POST

by Chris Knight, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

What a refreshingly untortured soul was Vito Russo. The New York-born gay activist and film historian may have painted his life in rosier colours than it actually had, but there’s no doubt he embraced his sexuality without an ounce of guilt or second-guessing.

More at: NATIONAL POST

POP MATTERS

by Cynthia Fuchs, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary is part biography, part celebration, and part broader history, as Russo’s story is inextricable from the social movements he helped to shape and the battles he fought so fiercely against homophobia and AIDS-phobia.

More at: POP MATTERS

A.V. CLUB

by Phil Dyess-Nugent, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gay rights issues such as same-sex marriage have gained a lot of traction in the last few years, even as those opposed to widespread social acceptance and legal protection of gays have become, if not more numerous, at least louder.

More at: A.V. CLUB

BAY AREA REPORTER

by Gregg Shapiro, Monday, 27 May 2013

Vito (First Run Features), now out on DVD, is a respectfully rendered portrait of and tribute to gay rights activist and gay film expert Vito Russo, author of the seminal work The Celluloid Closet.

More at: BAY AREA REPORTER

POP MATTERS

by Jose Solís Mayén, Monday, 27 May 2013

It’s a pleasure to see that such a package was put together to honor the legacy of a man who, after all, was a passionate movie buff.

More at: POP MATTERS

FRONT ROW REVIEWS

by Michael Pattison, Monday, 27 May 2013

Vito is an effective and sometimes affecting overview of Vito Russo, a key figure in the early gay-rights movement and, later, in the struggle against AIDS.

More at: FRONT ROW REVIEWS

CINE-VUE

by Cleaver Patterson, Monday, 27 May 2013

Like the life of Russo himself, this HBO documentary is both divisive and eye-opening.

More at: CINE-VUE

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