HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (France) | ★★★½
It is unfortunate that How to Survive a Plague has been flying under the radar because this is a moving documentary about dedicated activism and the fight to find a cure for AIDS.
When the AIDS crisis hit New York in the mid-1980s, it took a small but dedicated group of people to push for awareness, treatment, and fairness. David France’s How to Survive a Plague expertly depicts this battle through archival footage and interview segments.
While occasionally too detailed in its explanation of AIDS-fighting drugs, the film is affecting in its imagery and editing. The viewer gets to know several key figures in the ACT UP and TAG organizations, namely Peter Staley, Bob Rafsky, and Mark Harrington. Rafsky’s personal story is especially heartbreaking. How to Survive a Plague is an important film because it emphasizes the power of both the individual and the community in producing positive political and social change.