United in Anger: A History of ACT UP

DIRECTOR: Jim Hubbard

Expected guest: director James Hubbard

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a feature-length documentary about the birth and growth of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches fighting the epidemic. It examines how the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives. At best, early information about AIDS was shrouded in silence. ACT UP emerges from the anger and rage at the invisibility of the AIDS crisis and the inaction of governmental agencies.

ACT UP was superbly skilled at crafting media events that would garner the attention of the press. The film takes us through the planning and execution of a dozen major actions. Utilizing oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage including clips of Vito Russo, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and seemingly insurmountable government neglect. This fascinating documentary reveals the group’s complex culture, from its meetings to affinity groups to how it strategized on civil disobedience. Most importantly, the film demonstrates the ways in which ACT UP helped to shift how AIDS was represented in U.S. culture and responded to by the government.

— KEVIN SCHAUB

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D234


Co-presented by:
AIDS Housing Alliance San Francisco
AIDS Emergency Fund
Derek Silva Community

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