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How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, News | 8 November 2013 (UK)
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The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

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, (as T. Woody Richman) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself (archive footage)
David Barr ...
Himself
Bob Rafsky ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Eigo ...
Himself
Ann Northrop ...
Herself
...
Himself
Gregg Bordowitz ...
Himself
...
Himself
Bill Bahlman ...
Himself
Spencer Cox ...
Himself
Barbara Starrett ...
Herself
Iris Long ...
Herself (archive footage)
Franke-Ruta Garance ...
Herself (as Garance Franke-Ruta)
Mark Harrington ...
Himself
Jesse Helms ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the disease was considered a death sentence affecting communities, like the LGBT ones, whom many in power felt deserved it. This film tells the story of how militant activists like ACT-UP and TAG pushed for a meaningful response to this serious public health problem. As the activists struggled against political indifference, religious hostility, corporate greed and apparently skewed scientific research priorities with determination and sheer audacity, they produced a political wave that would lead to not only an effective treatment regime, but would advance LGBT rights beyond anyone's expectations. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

8 November 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

AIDS-pioneerit  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$28,250 (USA) (21 September 2012)

Gross:

$122,665 (USA) (9 November 2012)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Larry Kramer: Every single drug that's out there is because of ACT UP, I am convinced. It is the proudest achievement that the gay population of this world can ever claim.
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Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Happiness
Performed by Riceboy Sleeps
Words and Music by Jon Thor Birgisson and Alex Somers (as Alex Kendall Somers)
Universal-Polygram International Publishing Inc.
On Behalf of Universal Music Publishing Ltd. (BMI)
Licensed Courtesy of WL Recordings
By Arragement with Beggars Group Media Limited
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User Reviews

 
Utterly compelling.
13 February 2013 | by (Dublin) – See all my reviews

I really don't understand how this doco only scores a 7.3. It's the most compelling piece of film I have seen in years, I was gripped from the beginning to the end. It is basically about the early fight for treatment research and recognition that HIV sufferers have a disease and were entitled to respect and humanity from the wider community as it was not a punishment from God for a so called "lifestyle choice".

It is structured by piecing together a lot of archive film that is edited so brilliantly that it like watching a scripted film that tells a great story, a film with real stars and characters. The subject matter is based on HIV but what I took away from the film is how people with such a motivation did "act up" and used democracy to achieve an objective. It is compulsive viewing for any interested in any type of campaigning.

My only criticism of the film is it did not fully explore the reason for the early antagonism toward people with the virus and why the medical establishment and governments at that time were slow to act. But in the end I seen a film about a story I did not know about, a story about successful democratic campaign that has saved millions of lives. I now think these early campaigners should have got Nobel recognition. The film is that powerful.


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