On World AIDS Day, here are some recommendations for impactful movies about AIDS
When I look back at the times I have truly wept in a movie theater, it has often been while watching a movie about AIDS.
I grew up with the fear of catching it, of believing it was a death sentence and initially felt it was punishment for being gay.
So it goes deep.
I know that for young gay men today, the possibility of AIDS does not instill the same terror because if you become HIV-positive, it doesn’t mean you will die – as long as you have access to the right drugs.
Those years of terror must never be forgotten and I know if I had not been as closeted as I was in my teens and a big chunk of my 20s, I might not be alive today to be writing this.
So I hope that my readers – the younger ones in particular, are aware of the history of AIDS and the devastation it has left. So many people gone, so young, so talented, so beautiful.
And so many people are heroes in the battle against AIDS whether they were activists, researchers or caretakers.
I’ve come up with a handful of movies well worth watching. If you haven’t seen them, do watch and tell people about them. The documentaries How to Survive a Plague and We Were Here - which I saw at Outfest in recent years – tell the stories of heroes on both coasts better than any films I have seen so far.
Below are their trailers and a trio of other films – The Normal Heart, And the Band Played On and Longtime Companion – that are well worth your time.