Film Screening of Award-Winning AIDS Documentary "How to Survive a Plague"

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Lundeen Lecture Hall, Doudna 103

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, LAE Film Committee and Pioneer Players proudly present David Frank’s award-winning, Oscar nominated film “How to Survive a Plague.” Called “a testament to human bravery” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “astonishing” by the Boston Globe, the film will be shown on Monday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Lundeen Lecture Hall on the UW-Platteville campus. The screening is free and open to the public and there will be a panel discussion following the film.

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the disease was considered a death sentence affecting thousands of people in the LGBT community. “How to Survive a Plague” is the untold story of the brave young men and women, the militant activists from ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group), who successfully reversed the tide of the epidemic by demanding a meaningful, immediate response to what they perceived as a serious threat to public health and safety.  This improbable group of activists resisted oppression and, with no scientific training, infiltrated government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry, helping to identify promising new medication and treatments, which moved through trials and into drugstores in record time. They saved their own lives and ended the darkest days of a veritable plague. Helping to empty AIDS wards in American hospitals, ACT UP and TAG stopped AIDS from becoming a death sentence. The audacity and determination of the groups produced a political movement that lead to not only an effective treatment regimen, but also the advancement of rights for the LGBT community.

The film is being shown in conjunction with the theatre program’s production of Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart,” which runs Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 20-24 in the Center for the Arts Theatre. “The Normal Heart” is a semi-autobiographical drama chronicling the response of New York City’s gay community immediately following the outbreak of AIDS in 1981 through May 1984. Playwright-activist Larry Kramer co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982 in direct response to the developing AIDS epidemic and later helped establish ACT UP in March 1987 after he resigned from the board of the GMHC as a result of their political inaction.  The events documented in the film, which features Larry Kramer, happened subsequent to the action of the play.

Anyone attending the screening of “How to Survive a Plague” will receive a $2 discount to see one of the Thursday through Sunday performances of “The Normal Heart.”  For information and tickets to “The Normal Heart,” contact the University Box Office at 608.342.1298. For information about or to request disability accommodations for “How to Survive a Plague,” contact Dr. David Schuler at 608.342.1198.

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