Faced with their own mortality, an improbable group of mostly HIV-positive young men and women broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the story of how activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and '90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.
Blisteringly powerful, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE transports us back to a vital time of unbridled death, political indifference, and staggering resilience and constructs a commanding archetype for activism today.
“...hindsight allows David France's stirring How to Survive a Plague a concise overview's clarity and an epic narrative shape, with a happy ending to boot”—Variety
“Words like 'important' and 'inspiring' tend too often to be meaninglessly attached to non-fiction filmmaking, but in the case of David France's compelling snapshot of a revolutionary period in AIDS treatment, they are amply justified.”—Hollywood Reporter
Official Selection—SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Official Selection—SILVERDOCS FILM FESTIVAL
Winner, Best Documentary—GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD