How to Survive A Plague

How to Survive A Plague

DVD - 2013
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The story of the brave young men and women who successfully reversed the tide of an epidemic, demanded the attention of a fearful nation, and stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence. This improbable group of activists bucked oppression and infiltrated government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, helping to identify promising new medication and treatments and move them through trials and into drugstores in record time.
Publisher: New York : Sundance Selects : Distributed by MPI Media Group, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780788616082
Branch Call Number: DVD 362.19697 H8308 2013
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (109 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Language Note: In English with optional Spanish subtitles ; Closed-captioned


From Library Staff

This award-winning 2012 documentary recounts the efforts of AIDS activists in the 1980s and 1990s to combat ignorance of this frightening new disease and demand access to effective medical treatment.

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Sep 11, 2019

Raw documentary style doesn't take away from these committed activists and their stories. Despondent when their friends started dying of AIDS in the 80s and ignored by the government, they created their own creative and sometimes combative path to pressuring the FDA, NIH, and other agencies to respond and hasten research. Grateful AIDS survivors pause at the end to acknowledge their good fortune and mourn their friends who died before treatments could be found.

Feb 14, 2018

Excellent, heart wrenching, eye opening documentary. A great example of how coming together over insurmountable odds as a literal nobody to assert your rights and self advocate non-violently can literally change the world!

BookReviewer2015 Apr 01, 2015

A heart wrenching and well told account of AIDS activists' struggle to get better treatment and medication options in the 1980s and 1990s.

Also features Larry Kramer, writer of the acclaimed play and film The Human Heart.

Dec 08, 2014

I'm often afraid of rating documentaries, because I don't always know if I'm responding to the quality of the filmmaking or simply to how much I agree with the position of the filmmakers. And yeah, I would show this film in schools and hope that every post-AIDS generation queer person watch it. This film documents some brave and noble people that everyone should know about and offers revealing footage of Bush *and* Clinton being assholes that is worth minding (not to mention some bumbling CNN pundits, and the loathsome Jessie Helms, lest we forget). But it also, mercifully, sticks to archival footage where a talking-head approach might have offered more clarity but less immediacy, not to mention allowing the later scenes, where numerous surviving talking-heads show up to reflect upon the wins and losses, a poignancy that is somehow both disquieting and triumphant. As for the archival footage itself, thank whoever that the scene of the scattering of the ashes on the White House lawn was preserved--it is one of the most heart wrenching moments I've ever witnessed on film.

manuelaleal Oct 14, 2014

Breathtaking, inspiring, courageous, necessary...I was a child/teen during the hard early years of wasn't really part of my reality, and this documentary really taught so much of a history that we hope will never be forgotten.

This is a must-see for anyone interested in the strength of the human spirit and the power of non-violent action.

This DVD will tell you the stories of the brave men and women who got together and fought for civil rights, treatment, research, and saw eye to eye with the brightest and darkest of their time, all the while losing their closest friends and partners and facing prejudice and outright discrimination but never giving up.


Glencoe_Mike May 15, 2013

Fascinating, especially having grown up in this period. I remember when AIDS was seen as a death sentence and seemingly every day there were more headlines about it. This film shows how through turbulent efforts the various groups that sprouted up were able to advance research and advocacy. Really captures the period well. Not a he said/she said balanced documentary but excellent at what it does.

aaa5756 Apr 25, 2013

Very well done and interesting documentary movie. A pleasure to watch. I would recommend this movie for all to see. No fast forwarding no falling asleep on this one. A++ DVD


Add a Quote
Feb 14, 2018

“Big or small there is a difference only you can make.”
12 dancing princesses

aaa5756 Apr 25, 2013

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” -George Washington

aaa5756 Apr 25, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

aaa5756 Apr 25, 2013

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” -Winston Churchill


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