Good books / films on the Aids Epidemic of the 1980s / 1990s?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2012 1:11 AM GMT
    Hey everyone. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations books / films that covered this tragic time in history. Any good personal novels that dealt with the experience? Documentary films? Thanks guys!
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jul 07, 2012 1:50 AM GMT
    And The Band Played On was first a non fiction book that was later made into an HBO movie, I would start there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 07, 2012 2:46 AM GMT
    There is so much sad stuff out there.
    Longtime Companion is one...
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100049/

    Angels in America
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318997/

    Books of Survival: The Art of John Eric Broaddus
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0888484/

    The last one is a documentary about an artist who died of AIDS.
  • dtx1

    Posts: 155

    Jul 07, 2012 4:07 AM GMT
    The Age of AIDS is a documentary from the excellent PBS Frontline series produced in 2006 marking the 25th anniversary of the first diagnosed cases. The entire 240 minute documentary is free online: www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/view/

    We Were Here: The AIDS Years in San Francisco is a 2011 documentary available on Netflix (streaming).

    Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir is Paul Monette's well reviewed book detailing his process of coming to terms with the disease.

    There are many feature films about HIV/AIDS including Philadelphia, Longtime Companion, And the Band Played On (film adaptation of Randy Shilts' book), Angels in America, RENT, and several others.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jul 07, 2012 4:14 AM GMT
    I would recommend Long Time Companion also! It was an extremely emotional film that did have some humor in it. An incredible cast also!
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    Jul 07, 2012 4:20 AM GMT
    RSportsguy saidI would recommend Long Time Companion also! It was an extremely emotional film that did have some humor in it. An incredible cast also!


    This^^ Great film!
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jul 07, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    Vito, a documentary on the life of Vito Russo. Russo was very active in ACTUP (and also earlier gay rights organizations). The film covers a lot of the AIDS history, and the early fight to get the government to fund AIDS research. (Reagan and the FDA were not interested in doing much.)

    Produced by HBO - to be shown on HBO on July 23.
  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 5:26 AM GMT


  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 5:27 AM GMT
  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 5:55 AM GMT
  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 5:57 AM GMT
  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 5:58 AM GMT
  • metta

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    Jul 07, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 09, 2012 4:01 PM GMT
    The 1985 TV movie "An Early Frost" is a great example of the attitudes & misconceptions people had towards HIV/AIDS at the time. Very moving performances, and very brave for TV -- at the time, many stations didn't want to air the show, due to the subject matter (a non-stereotypical gay man in a loving relationship who has AIDS). I remember watching this movie with my mother as a still-closeted teenager and being very affected by it.

    "Go Toward The Light" is a 1988 TV movie starring Linda Hamilton ("The Terminator") and Richard Thomas ("The Waltons"), based on a true story about a boy who has contracted HIV/AIDS, and his parents trying to prepare him for his fate (at the time there was no real treatment).I just read some quotes from the movie on IMDb, and was just as moved as when the movie first aired (in other words, I bawled my eyes out)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo64cgntjvs

    Both are available on DVD.
  • OklahomaBreak...

    Posts: 167

    Jul 15, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    Long Time Companion and We Were Here are great movies. We Were Here is really nice since it focuses on SF when most only do NYC. Also After Stonewall is another good doc. All of these are on Netflix btw.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Jul 15, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
    Frontline had a good documentary on AIDS in Black America
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    Jul 15, 2012 6:38 PM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo saidJust curious about why you are wanting to learn so much about HIV.....

    Why would someone want to learn "so much" about the World Wars?

    Why does anyone want to learn about history?

    And he doesn't want to learn about HIV, he wants to learn about peoples the epidemic affected and resulting social perspective that is still evolving to this day.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Jul 15, 2012 7:27 PM GMT
    Have to agree with the guys above about 'Longtime Companion', a deeply engrossing and moving film. Although I was living a very different life to them in rural Lincolnshire (closeted, etc.), my sympathy with those guys grew stronger and stronger as the film progressed and the tragedy unfolded.

    The scene at the end, when they meet the other guys who`ve died of AIDS, is powerful and raised tears in me.

    On a brighter note, the Stephen Caffrey character is so sexy!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 15, 2012 7:35 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I watched "Longtime Companion" the other night and it was good, I liked it and I have seen "The Band Plays On" twice and I really liked that one too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 15, 2012 7:37 PM GMT
    MuchoMasQueMusculo saidJust curious about why you are wanting to learn so much about HIV.....


    It's important for people to learn about HIV. Learning is a good thing ;)
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Jul 15, 2012 8:21 PM GMT
    JackBlair69 said blah blah blah


    Yes, its a well known fact that the radical gay rights activists controlled the political environment in the 1980s. Poor St. Ronnie was powerless against them!

    ...and now back to reality....

    My vote goes to the book And The Band Played On. I found it so addictive and I've read it a few times. I love how it weaves together the political, medical, cultural and personal history of the beginning of the epidemic from an author who was writing in real time and in the heart of the disaster.
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Jul 15, 2012 9:40 PM GMT
    JackBlair69 said
    Jerebear said
    JackBlair69 said blah blah blah


    Yes, its a well known fact that the radical gay rights activists controlled the political environment in the 1980s. Poor St. Ronnie was powerless against them!

    ...and now back to reality....

    My vote goes to the book And The Band Played On. I found it so addictive and I've read it a few times. I love how it weaves together the political, medical, cultural and personal history of the beginning of the epidemic from an author who was writing in real time and in the heart of the disaster.


    What would you have had Reagan do, exactly?

    As Horowitz proves, the normal and accepted (and rational) protocols for such "epidemics" were in place and available - but the radicals in the community decided to reject them out of hand. (I guess those procedures were a bourgeois middle-class hangup, man. What a bummer traditional-values trip.)

    HIV/AIDS (and its proto-epidemics of VD among gay men) was treated differently than any other previous imminent public health concern.

    So Reagan was to blame for - what, exactly?


    Epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases are very difficult to deal with because sex has always been a difficult subject to discuss publicly in the past. There wasnt much a different president would have done differently (I just threw "St. Ronnie" in there as a little jab, I apologize for that).

    Many radical activists (not most or all) do share some of the blame. The sexual revolution was their answer to centuries of oppresion. Bath houses and gay bars that accelerated the proliferation of the disease were also the only places where gay men of that era could be gay outside their private homes and many activists wrongly defended those businesses in the face of the epidemic. Activists were also very defensive about the privacy of men's sexual histories, but this was in the context of a era of shame when a man's sexual history could be used as a weapon to destroy his livelihood, take away his children and take away his health insurance.

    I grant you all that.

    When I first became aware of AIDS I was a kid in a small rural town. This is what I knew from the people around me at the time: that gay people deserved it because God hated fags and druggies, that the only "innocent" victims were those who acquired it through blood transfusion, that sex education should not mention condoms, only absitnance (and ignorance), and that harm reduction strategies like needle exchanges and supervised injection sites should be criminalized.

    These were the people that had the real power in that era and I would be extremely surprised if anyone in the public health sphere outside of the Castro spent more time fighting activists than they did fighting the ignorance coming from the kind of people I grew up with.

    These were the people that were the majority at the time, and no politician would fear a handful of activists over the silent (in this case, the truly silent) majority.

    This is my personal recollection of events, it may not be yours, and thats fine, we can agree to disagree. I just didnt want some assertions you got from some right wing columnist/writer to sit on this forum unchallenged.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 17, 2012 5:31 AM GMT
    JackBlair69 saiddeleted garbage
    You are an insane lunatic troll.
  • MidwestPozGuy

    Posts: 3

    Jul 30, 2012 9:10 AM GMT
    Longtime Companion is my personal favorite. I also enjoyed Early Frost. It has been part of such movies as It's My Party, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Bangkok Love Story!