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How to Survive a Plague (Documentary)
In the late 1980s, members of Act-Up and other AIDS activists battle hostility and indifference to bring attention to the disease and try to reduce the number of victims while hoping to lead the drive to find a cure.
This documentary by David France is about the early years of the AIDS epidemic and the grassroots movement of activists.
Health activists’ efforts created a paradigm for patient empowerment and health care activism that has since been replicated in the fight against many other diseases from breast cancer to heart disease. And as AIDS spread to Africa, India, and Asia, these activists helped open local groups, exporting AIDS activism to press for better, and more accessible, treatment. Their story stands as a powerful inspiration to future generations, a road map, and a call to arms.
“Faced with their own mortality, an improbable group of mostly HIV-positive young men and women broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the story of how activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.
Blisteringly powerful, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE transports us back to a vital time of unbridled death, political indifference, and staggering resilience and constructs a commanding archetype for activism today.”