Sundance Selects will promote David France’s How to Survive a Plague, a documentary following two support groups — ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group) – as they fight against both the disease and its stigma. The film uses footage from the ’80s and ’90s, a time when politicians were coldly indifferent to the struggle.
The film will cover the medical side of the disease as well. Not too long ago, there was virtually no medical information about AIDS. Despite a distinct lack of any sort of science background, members of ACT UP and TAG plunged head-on into the pharmaceutical industry to advance the search for treatment.
The triple-battle for their health, public acceptance and scientific understanding seem like the ingredients for an unforgettable film. Unfortunately, the trailer only shows the political/activist side of it. There’s definitely some moving footage of protests as well as shockingly negative quotes from lawmakers, but no hint as to how the equally important race for medical knowledge will be portrayed. Hopefully the documentary successfully covers this issue from many angles instead of a garden-variety “awareness” film that highlights only the most obvious aspects.
How to Survive a Plague was produced by David France as well as Howard Gertler, Joy Tomchin, and Dan Cogan. Screenplay is by David France, T. Woody Richman, and Tyler H. Walk. This film will hit theaters in September.