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David Wojnarowicz is the latest artist to get an overdue documentary evaluation, and Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker arrives at an oddly appropriate moment. Though the film of course goes into his life and the influences driving his multi-hyphenate artistic projects, a good deal of time is also dedicated to his AIDS activism. Since we now face a new pandemic that’s been exponentially worsened by government neglect, the example set by Wojnarowicz and his fellow agitators can be instructional.
On a formal level, the film is unremarkable — it certainly doesn’t try to approximate Wojnarowicz’s give-em-hell spirit, even as it honors his work. But anyone who loves the artist should still find plenty to appreciate here. In particular, there’s audio from personal recordings Wojnarowicz made over the years (drawn from hundreds of hours of material he produced and left behind with his untimely death, now put together by director Chris McKim), allowing the film to offer his personal perspective even though he’s long since left us.