9 November 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The story of activist group Act Up and its struggle with authority in the early years of Aids makes for a compelling and often moving documentary

"Plague!" howls screenwriter/playwright Larry Kramer like some Old Testament prophet in one of the many arresting moments from this urgent, heartbreaking, and ultimately empowering account of how Aids activists took control of their own destiny in the late 1980s when the Us government and health services failed to do so. Kramer is addressing an increasingly heated Act Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) meeting, silencing those who have fallen into factional bickering with a voice which conjures up rage, anger and defiance.

Kramer's outburst is extraordinary, captured in grainy footage along with 700 hours of archive material (TV interviews, news broadcasts, reportage), through which director David France sifts to put us right there in the middle of the emerging struggle. What's even more remarkable »

- Mark Kermode

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