For over two decades, Vito Russo was a ubiquitous presence in New York, a ravenous, tireless cinephile and critic who became one of the earliest, most important voices in the struggle for gay rights. His two passions came together in an extraordinary book, The Celluloid Closet, a groundbreaking study of gay and lesbian imagery and themes in movies that remains a landmark in the field. Now Jeffrey Schwarz, using some incredible period footage as well as the testimonies of those who knew him best, has created this heartfelt, insightful portrait of Vito that serves simultaneously as a revealing chronicle of the birth of contemporary gay culture and of later AIDS activism. An HBO Documentary FIlms release.