Previously at the ICA - Films

How to Survive a Plague, David France, 2012

How to Survive a Plague

8 Nov 201328 Nov 2013

★★★★ 'expansive, passionately conceived and wildly moving' Telegraph
★★★★ Guardian
★★★★ Time Out 

Aids activist Ant Babajee explains the contemporary importance of this new documentary on the ICA Blog

The appalling indifference and hostility towards people living with HIV in the 1980s and the efforts of New York-based campaigners to combat this are the subject of journalist and director David France’s inspiring, instructive film.

How to Survive a Plague is 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. Faced with their own mortality an improbable group of young people, many of them HIV-positive young men, broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. 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.

Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature

How to Survive a Plague, dir David France, USA 2012

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