How to Survive a Plague
With more than a generation having been born since the start of the AIDS epidemic in 1981, many have no idea the struggle activists went through to get the government and drug companies to treat their life-and-death plight with the urgency it so desperately required.
David France's How to Survive a Plague aims to change this by bringing to light the history of the anti-AIDS movement that originated in NYC in the '80s. It was the work of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power), which emerged from Greenwich Village, an area of NYC hardest hit by the ailment, relentlessly challenging homophobia, public misconceptions and an apathetic government.
Eventually turning their attention to the National Institutes of Health and the plethora of drug companies that were dragging their heels in the area of AIDS treatment research, the activists worked hard to stay ahead of bureaucracy by using creative demonstration tactics, fuelled by their desperation and anger. It wasn't until 1997 that the now famous "three-drug cocktail" came to be, which proved effective in staving off the symptoms of AIDS, although sadly millions had already passed.
Utilizing archival news footage, blended with VHS home movies created by the activists, as well as present-day interviews that look back on this chapter of social history, an insightful portrait has been painted of an era that was both dismaying and inspirational.
Refraining from painting the activists as saints, How to Survive a Plague remains an unbiased account of a militant fight and subsequent triumph. One can only hope our younger generation can learn something from this film and will actually have some appropriate thought in their heads the next time they slap on a red ribbon for AIDS awareness. (Mongrel Media)
ReviewsDec 11, 2014
The Imitation GameMorten Tyldum
Fresh off its TIFF People's Choice award win this year, Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game is poised to capture the same sort of popular mom...
ReviewsDec 11, 2014
Top FiveChris Rock
It's no secret that while Chris Rock has established himself as one the world's funniest stand-up comedians, he's also struggled to translat...
ReviewsDec 08, 2014
The Jeffersons: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
George and Weezy finally get their own deee-luxe DVD box set that was long overdue. Shout Factory's The Jeffersons box set collects all 253 ...
ReviewsDec 05, 2014
The strength of Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée's award-winning film the Dallas Buyers Club was ultimately its universal depiction of a g...