Ahead of BFI Flare, London’s LGBT film festival running from 20-30 March 2014 at the BFI Southbank, Network Releasing is releasing the award-winning documentaries Fire In the Blood (24 March) and How To Survive A Plague (31 March) about HIV and AIDS activism.
Fire In The Blood is the critically acclaimed documentary of medicine, monopoly and malice that tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996. The film investigates how this caused over 10 million unnecessary deaths and the improbable group of people who decided to fight back. Shot on four continents, its remarkable story is seen through the eyes of AIDS patients, front-line clinicians, radical health professionals, pharmaceutical company executives and global figures including Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu. It is the never-before-told true story of the remarkable coalition which came together to stop ‘the Crime of the Century’ and save millions of lives in the process.
How To Survive A Plague is the Oscar-nominated story of two coalitions – ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) – and how their activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. 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 access to never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and 1990s, filmmaker David France’s blisteringly powerful expose transports us back to a vital time of unbridled death, political indifference, and staggering resilience and constructs a commanding archetype for activism today.