News, Views, and Information about Disability

Disability News, Views, Information, and Literature

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Survive a Plague: Documentary of ACT-UP & TAG

Mike Reynolds offers an in-depth review of the forthcoming documentary, How to Survive a Plague, which he describes as "an intensely personal and authentic documentary about the early days of the AIDS epidemic."

Along with providing detail about the film's subject -- the raw energy, the intellectual rigors, the desperation to beat the system and the virus -- the review also covers the cinematic experience:
The film is edited beautifully, and the director, David France, was one of the first journalists to cover the AIDS crisis. Over 300 videotapes were used for the film, coming from the closets and attics of people involved in the movement and from the relatives of activists who died. The intimacy the video footage lends to the documentary cannot be understated; seeing an enraged Larry Kramer addressing activists during a disruptive meeting in which the Treatment and Drug Trial group split from the larger ACT UP was intense (the film’s title came from Kramer’s speech that day). This splinter group of elite activists went on to become the TAG, which would later be credited with spearheading major reforms both within the FDA and in the way drug trials are conducted.
If you were active in AIDS activism in the late '80s or early '90s, just reading Mike's review will bring back the energy and intense emotion of that era. Read the film review at Ability Maine. Please post comments on the review below! (You can also watch the trailer for the movie here.)

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to Mike on this excellent piece. I was minimally involved with ACT-UP in the early 90s, and just reading the review, I felt catapulted right back to those times. Can't wait to see the film.


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