IMDb > How to Survive a Plague (2012)
How to Survive a Plague
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How to Survive a Plague (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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How to Survive a Plague -- "How To Survive A Plague" is the untold story of the efforts that turned AIDS into a mostly manageable condition - and the improbable group of young men and women who, with no scientific training, infiltrated government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, and helped identify promising new compounds, moving them through trials and into drugstores in record time.
How to Survive a Plague -- 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.
How to Survive a Plague -- 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.
How to Survive a Plague -- Trailer 2 for How to Survive a Plague
How to Survive a Plague -- Trailer for How to Survive a Plague


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7.6/10   2,906 votes »
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David France (written by) &
Woody Richman (written by) ...
View company contact information for How to Survive a Plague on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 November 2013 (UK) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 19 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A moving and insightful documentary See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ed Koch ... Himself (archive footage)
David Barr ... Himself
Bob Rafsky ... Himself (archive footage)
Jim Eigo ... Himself
Ann Northrop ... Herself

Larry Kramer ... Himself
Gregg Bordowitz ... Himself

Peter Staley ... 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)
Anthony Fauci ... Himself (as Dr. Anthony Fauci)
Derek Link ... Himself

Vito Russo ... Himself, film historian (archive footage)
Thomas Braden ... Himself (archive footage)

Pat Buchanan ... Himself (archive footage)
Ellen Cooper ... Herself (archive footage) (as Dr. Ellen Cooper)
Susan Ellenberg ... Herself
Emilio Emini ... Himself
Stephen Joseph ... Himself (archive footage)
John Joseph O'Connor ... Himself (as John Cardinal O'Connor)
Ray Navarro ... Himself (archive footage)

George Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Vacca ... Himself
Michael Petrelis ... Himself (archive footage)

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Ron Goldberg ... Himself (archive footage)
David Robinson ... Himself (archive footage)
John Mashek ... Himself (archive footage)
Ross Perot ... Himself (archive footage)

Charlie Rose ... Himself (archive footage)
Chris Wallace ... Himself (archive footage)
David Kessler ... Himself (archive footage)
Gregg Gonsalves ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mark Allen ... Himself
Matthew Ebert ... Himself

Directed by
David France 
Writing credits
David France (written by) &
Woody Richman (written by) (as T. Woody Richman) &
Tyler H. Walk (written by)

Produced by
Dan Cogan .... executive producer
Ron Dodd .... research producer
Peter Farber .... associate producer
David France .... producer
Howard Gertler .... producer
Alan Getz .... co-executive producer
Chad Hahne .... associate producer
Jim Hubbard .... associate producer
Lindy Linder .... associate producer
Loring McAlpin .... associate producer
Woody Richman .... co-producer (as T. Woody Richman)
Jonathan Starch .... consulting producer
Joy A. Tomchin .... executive producer (as Joy Tomchin)
Stan Tomchin .... co-producer
Henry van Ameringen .... co-producer
Original Music by
Stuart Bogie 
Luke O'Malley 
Arthur Russell (songs)
Cinematography by
Derek Wiesehahn (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Woody Richman  (as T. Woody Richman)
Tyler H. Walk 
Makeup Department
Soula Kalamaras .... hair stylist
Soula Kalamaras .... makeup artist
Yianni Tsapatori .... hair stylist
Yianni Tsapatori .... makeup artist
Production Management
Amaka Anikwe .... production supervisor
Art Department
Grant Nellessen .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Marco Alicea .... digital audio transfer
Scott Brewer .... engineering services
Danny Caccavo .... digital editorial services
John Countryman .... video services
Stuart Deutsch .... production sound mixer (as Stu Deutsch)
Lora Hirschberg .... Sound Edit & Mix
Lora Hirschberg .... re-recording mixer
Noah Katz .... digital editorial services
Mike Lane .... client services
Michael Levine .... digital audio transfer
Dmitri Makarov .... digital editorial services
Steve Morris .... engineering services
Shelly Napolean .... client services (as Shelly Napoleon)
Eddie O'Connor .... production sound mixer
Eva Porter .... client services
Topher Reifeiss .... production sound mixer
Ronald G. Roumas .... recordist
Mark Roy .... production sound mixer
Paul Ruest .... adr recordist: Argit Studios
Tony Villaflor .... assistant re-recording mixer
Visual Effects by
Greg Reynard .... 3d animator: virus
Camera and Electrical Department
Tony Arena .... archival cinematographer
Bill Bahlman .... archival cinematographer
Gregg Bordowitz .... archival cinematographer
David Buckingham .... archival cinematographer
Jean Carlomusto .... archival cinematographer
Andrew Chang .... archival cinematographer
Clayton Combe .... gaffer
Lauren DiLiberto .... best boy electric
Adolfo Doring .... additional camera
Axel Ebermann .... camera assistant
Axel Ebermann .... camera operator: "b" camera
David France .... additional camera
Vincent Gagliostro .... archival cinematographer
Carl Michael George .... archival cinematographer
Dylan Gordon .... additional camera
Catherine Gund .... archival cinematographer
Spence Halperin .... archival cinematographer
Robert Hilferty .... archival cinematographer
Bob Huff .... archival cinematographer
Babette Krolik .... archival cinematographer
Shraga Lev .... archival cinematographer
Lou Maletta .... archival cinematographer
Tim McCarthy .... archival cinematographer
Ray Navarro .... archival cinematographer
Costa Pappas .... archival cinematographer
Mary Patierno .... archival cinematographer
John Schabel .... archival cinematographer
Ellen Spiro .... archival cinematographer
Barbara Starrett .... archival cinematographer
Jerry Tartaglia .... archival cinematographer
Avi Weider .... gaffer
James Wentzy .... archival cinematographer
John Z. Wetmore .... archival cinematographer
Chris Wiesehahn .... gaffer
Steve Zabel .... archival cinematographer
Matt Zschoche .... gaffer
Phil Zwickler .... archival cinematographer
Editorial Department
Jason Alarcón .... second assistant editor
Danny Caccavo .... digital editorial services
Daniel Cashin .... second assistant editor
Will Cox .... digital intermediate colorist
Angela Flignor .... post-production coordinator
Noah Katz .... digital editorial services
Robert La Rocca .... assistant editor (as Robert la Rocca)
Matthew C. Levy .... second assistant editor
Dmitri Makarov .... digital editorial services
Jonathan Oppenheim .... editing
Sandy Patch .... on-line editor
Owen Rucker .... assistant on-line editor
Noriko Sakamoto .... editor: trailer
Elaine Saw .... first assistant editor
Caitlin Tartaro .... digital intermediate producer
Music Department
Miles Arntzen .... musician: drums/percussion
Eric Biondo .... musician: keyboard/vibraphone/percussion
Stuart Bogie .... musician: clarinet/saxophone/keyboard/flute/percussion
Stuart Bogie .... score producer
Caleb Burhans .... musician: violin/viola
John Carlin .... music supervisor: The Red Hot Organization
Felicity Chamberlin .... music coordinator
John Davis .... score mixer: The Bunker Studio A
John Davis .... score recordist: The Bunker Studio A
Béco Dranoff .... music supervisor: The Red Hot Organization
Hank Dutt .... musician: Kronos Quartet, viola
Ryan Ferreira .... musician: guitar
Scott Fraser .... music mixer: Kronos Quarter
Scott Fraser .... music recordist: Kronos Quartet
David Harrington .... musician: Kronis Quartet, violin
Paul Heck .... music supervisor: The Red Hot Organization
Rubin Kodheli .... musician: cello
Matt Lilley .... music legal services: MCL Music Services
Topu Lyo .... musician: cello
Katherine Gordon Miller .... music editor
Luke O'Malley .... musician: guitar/voice/electric bass/keyboard
Luke O'Malley .... score producer
Dustin Reid .... music coordinator
Chris Saebo .... musician: double bass
Jared Samuel .... musician: keyboards/piano/bass/percussion/voice
John Sherba .... musician: Kronos Quartet, violin
Nikhil Yerawadekar .... musician: electric bass/keyboard/piano/percussion
Jeffrey Zeigler .... musician: Kronos Quartet, cello
Other crew
Lili Abedin .... production intern
Yasmeen Ali .... production intern
John Block .... production intern
Josh Braun .... distribution advisor: Submarine Entertainment
Elaine Chan .... production intern
Jane Cinsov .... production intern
Victoria S. Cook .... legal services: Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
John 'JR' Craigmile .... production accountant (as J.R. Craigmile)
Arielle De Saint Phalle .... production assistant
Alec Dupuis .... production intern
Richard Dworkin .... transcriptions
James Faller .... production assistant
Patricia Finneran .... outreach and engagement strategy: Veritas
Angela Flignor .... researcher
Rashada Fortier .... production intern
Melissa Georges .... legal services: Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
Hayden Goldblatt .... legal services: Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz (as Hayden M. Goldblatt)
Dylan Gordon .... production assistant
Valerie Keller .... outreach and engagement strategy: Veritas
Mike Lane .... client services
Adam Losi .... production intern
Erika Lucero .... production assistant
Chris Luperi .... production intern
Shelly Napolean .... client services (as Shelly Napoleon)
Grant Nellessen .... title designer
Jonathan Oppenheim .... story consultant
Maggie Pisacane .... legal services: Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
Jenina Podulka .... production assistant (as Jenna Podulka)
Eva Porter .... client services
Kenn Rabin .... archival researcher
Sara Rafsky .... production assistant
Jenny Raskin .... story consultant
Donna Reyes .... production intern
Chester Santos .... production intern
Cory Sivakoff .... production intern
Charles Tolbert .... legal services
Evan Tomchin .... production intern
Miranda Wheeler .... outreach and engagement coordinator
Miranda Wheeler .... production intern
Nancy Willen .... publicist: Acme Public Relations
David Williams .... production intern
Stephen Winter .... story consultant
Sam Tankard .... intern (uncredited)
Ross Tipograph .... intern (uncredited)
Ortez Alderson .... in memory of
Charles Barber .... in memory of
David Conover .... in memory of
Keith Cylar .... in memory of
Mark Cyr .... the producers wish to thank
Robert Farber .... remembering
Dabid B. Feinberg .... in memory of
Mark Lowe Fisher .... in memory of
Robert Garcia .... in memory of
Jeff Gates .... in memory of
Doug Gould .... dedicatee
Thomas Hannan .... in memory of
Keith Haring .... in memory of
Larry Kert .... in memory of
David W. Kline .... in memory of
James Lyons .... in memory of
Ray Navarro .... in memory of
David Patierno .... in memory of
Howie Pope .... in memory of
Joseph Porrello .... in memory of
Bob Rafsky .... in memory of
Darrin Ramage .... in memory of (as Brain Damage)
Ken Ramsauer .... in memory of
Darrell Yates Rist .... in memory of
Vito Russo .... in memory of
Randy Snyder .... in memory of
Danny Sotomayor .... in memory of
David Stern .... in memory of
Joan Tisch .... honoring
Phil Zwickler .... in memory of

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jesse Helms:They can speak as long as they don't offend anybody else, I suppose.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 85th Annual Academy Awards (2013) (TV)See more »
Keeping UpSee more »


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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
A moving and insightful documentary, 16 November 2012
Author: Patryk Czekaj from Warsaw

How to Survive a Plague is definitely one of the year's most awe-inspiring, riveting, go-into- action documentaries. Through a mightily informative combination of recent interviews and archival footage the film exhibits a noteworthy fight against both ignorance and indifference towards such a deadly epidemic as the one caused by the HIV virus. This is also a serious, heartfelt, touching depiction of a movement that was ready to change something, even if it meant sacrificing a few soldiers along the way. And yes, the word 'soldiers' is perfectly suitable when it comes to all those young people who devoted their whole lives to a global, far-reaching cause.

Year by year, How to Survive a Plague presents a through and insightful look at the actions that propelled the LGBT activists in some of their most tragic days. Undeniably, the story behind such coalitions as Act Up and TAG are exhilarating ones. Even though the then-deadly virus already infected many of those young people, they still didn't lose faith in the cause and decided to stand up against the government and its reluctance to help those in need. Lead by a few charismatic and devoted individuals Act Up changed to course of history and it's definitely not an exaggeration. By making the whole world aware of the seriousness of this ferocious AIDS plague the activists made the world a place friendly for all inhabitants of this planet, no matter their sexual orientation or skin color.

How to Survive a Plague is a clever, intriguing and fortifying documentary. Every scene of the film matters, every voice raised is a significant one. Decidedly so, the interviews shine a new light on the past events presented in the archival footage, and their coming together combines for a valuable film experience.

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