Screening Room

Never Forget: awesome movies to commemorate World AIDS Day

This World AIDS Day marks 28 years of raising awareness for people with HIV.

Bill Clinton became the first president to commemorate and recognize the event in 1995. By that time, hundreds of thousands of Americans had died from AIDS-related complications, and thousands more struggled to afford proper treatment and care. To honor those men and women we have lost, and the ongoing struggle to defeat the virus, we assembled this list of documentary films dealing in a moving way with the subject. Some focus on the epidemic at large, while others revolve around personal stories.

Either way, the films listed here go a long way toward educating viewers on the human cost of HIV/AIDS, and offer a fine way to commemorate World AIDS Day…

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How to Survive a Plague

Journalist David France made a hell of a directorial debut with the Oscar-nominated How to Survive a Plague, his documentary tracing the rise of HIV activism. Featuring extensive footage of activists like Peter Staley, the dearly departed Spencer Cox and playwright Larry Kramer, who delivers one of the most visceral and shocking moments ever in a documentary. Right-wing bozo politicians like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Jesse Helms also appear, effectively saying HIV/AIDS is punishment for vile behavior. Seldom has a film—documentary or otherwise—so uncovered the horrors of the disease, the inaction of the federal government or provided such a haunting memorial to the victims of AIDS.

Streams on Amazon, iTunes & YouTube.

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