Act Up Oral History Project Series

Act Up Oral History Project Series

USA, 2008, 90 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: AIDS / HIV, Biography / History, Documentary, Gay, Politics
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTORS: Jim Hubbard, Sarah Schulman, James Wentzy

Cultural amnesia leads to revisionist history. To remedy the rewriting of the history of the AIDS epidemic and the activist movement ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) directors Jim Hubbard, James Wentzy and Sarah Schulman have committed themselves to exhaustively gathering, preserving and promoting the truth of what happened in the 1980s and 1990s.

ACT UP Oral History is a work-in-progress in three parts, which synthesizes interview segments from the hundreds of hours of video-recorded oral histories of members of ACT UP/New York. The film opens with an extended compilation of mostly women activists speaking about the early fight to change the definition of AIDS, from a clich?┬ęd gay white men’s disease (remember GRID?) to a syndrome of wide-ranging symptoms as they appeared in differing forms — among women, among drug users, among the poor.

In “ACT UP’s Greatest Achievements, Parts 1 and 2,” numerous luminaries of ACT UP, including Larry Kramer and Douglas Crimp among many, many others, give voice, thoughtful, inspired, in spontaneous reflective epiphanies, to the enormous difference ACT UP activism made — from changing the process of drug approval to empowering people with AIDS to become active advocates and not merely passive patients. ACT UP compelled medical accountability, transformed how we view illness and sexuality and was a generational transformative moment in LGBT activism. — LES WRIGHT

Text Voting Code: D314

Copresented by

GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco Pride at Work and STOP AIDS Project

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