"Stunning… the quintessential snapshot of a moment and a movement." - Slant
Faced with their own mortality, an improbable group of mostly HIV-positive young men and women broke the mould as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. Set at the height of the AIDS threat in the 80s, How to Survive a Plague is the story of two coalitions - ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) - whose activism and innovation turned the disease from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage, 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, many of who became self-taught experts in virology, biology and chemistry in order to achieve what the medical researchers seemingly couldn't.
“Words like ‘important' and ‘inspiring' tend too often to be meaninglessly attached to non-fiction filmmaking, but in the case of David France's compelling snapshot of a revolutionary period in AIDS treatment, they are amply justified.” - Hollywood Reporter
D David France P David France, Howard Gertler S David France, T. Woody Richman, Tyler Walk WS Roco Films TD HD Cam/2012