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3 Films You Should Watch On Netflix To Commemorate World AIDS Day

3 Films You Should Watch On Netflix To Commemorate World AIDS Day

In this day and age, too many people consider threat of AIDS an afterthought, despite the rise
of diagnoses of late (though, a general low in cases) outside of the United
States
. Which is why it’s still critical to remember
today, World AIDS Day, as one to honor those who fought the pandemic throughout
its history, those who won and lost that fight, and the continuing situation we face HIV/AIDS. In case you’re interested in watching any films to commemorate today, take a look at some of the best on Netflix. (Note: My apologies for the
very Western-Amero-centric list — but that’s what’s being offered)

How to Survive a Plague (2012) |
Directed by David France

An astonishing 700 hours of archival footage is
boiled down to just under two hours, where the audience is put on the front
lines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Director David France places you right in
the middle of the ACT UP and TAG conferences, every moment searing and raw. On
one level, it’s a powerful time capsule at the efforts taken to fight the AIDS
epidemic, watching the difficulties these people had in banding together and
watching passion and blood boil; and on another, it’s an incredible achievement
to take this amount of footage and craft a narrative from it. How
to Survive a Plague
acts as both a manual in radical activism and a
memory that can’t afford to be forgotten.

Watch it here.

Parting Glances (1986) | Directed by
Bill Sherwood

Parting Glances’ director Bill
Sherwood never made another film after this one, dying of complications due to
AIDS in 1990. Yet his first and only film, a story about a gay couple living in
New York during the AIDS crisis and era of President Ronald Raegan, is a
testament to his talent nonetheless, one that is able to weave in the
frustrations and dangers of AIDS nad have it work with the narrative, as opposed to having it take over the narrative
altogether. That is Parting Glance’s strongest attribute, its subtlety somehow
making the film all the more powerful and melancholic, certainly supported by
an incredible performance from Steve Buscemi. This film, unlike many of a
similar vein, is able to ache, but keep on going. Its heart keeps beating.

Watch it here.

Paris is Burning (1990) | Directed
by Jennie Livingston

Paris is Burning is many thing, not
least of all a heavy influence on Ru
Paul’s Drag Race
. Frankly, the documentary’s influence extends far beyond
that, its language now more than ever transcending its original boundaries
(which may or may not be problematic). But, as case stufy in socio economic
background of gay men, gender performance, race in the queer community, ball
culture, etc., the film still burns as a primary document of how the AIDS
crisis affected other people within the queer community beyond white men. It
is, perhaps, the most “fun” to watch out of the ones on this list, but it’s no
less moving or important. It’s still incendiary.  

Watch it here.

 

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