VIDEO: The trailer for Pedro
Dustin Lance Black won an Oscar for the screenplay of Milk — probably that film's weakest element. Those who wonder what a Black screenplay might look like without the benefit of Gus Van Sant or Sean Penn should check out this bio-pic of AIDS activist and Real World San Francisco star Pedro Zamora (DaJuan Johnson), who died of AIDS in 1994, at the age of 22.
There's no other reason to see the film. Directed by Nick Oceano, it ignores the conflict between the real and its media fabrication in reality shows and instead exploits whatever simulated mode — mock-documentary, mock-re-enactment, mock-talking-heads-interview — works best for cheap emotional effect or as an opportunity to preach.
Pedro does no favors to the memory of its complex and inspiring subject by reducing Zamora's life to a farrago of sound bites, clichés, and hugs.