All of Us (2008)
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Chevelle, abandoned by her family as a teenager, became addicted to drugs and dependent on sex with men to get attention and cash. When we meet her, she's been clean for a year and is striving for financial independence. Tara suffered sexual abuse for much of her life and resorted to sex work to survive. Her current boyfriend is pressuring her for sex even though she is undergoing a series of invasive surgeries for cervical cancer. Despite her frail condition, Tara works to overcome her fear of saying no and gains new confidence along the way.
As Chevelle and Tara strive for more power in their lives and relationships, Mehret expands her research to include women across boundaries of race, class and country. She also begins to grapple with these extremely personal themes as they appear in her own life. A visit to Ethiopia, her birthplace, and candid conversations with her privileged girlfriends in New York, yield a startling realization: heterosexual women across the continents face a dangerous power imbalance in the bedroom. When she lets her hair down, steps out of her doctor's role, and confesses her own weaknesses, even this Harvard trained physician sounds just like one of us.
All of Us is about AIDS but it is not a tragedy. It is a story of resilience, sisterhood and courage.--© Official Sitemore
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Critic Reviews for All of Us
Ms. Abt brings out the best in her subjects: Tara and Chevelle and their partners are fully realized, not just poster children for the cause.
This powerful, conceptually sure film is relevant beyond the concerns of the moment as both a model of documentary method and compassionate social filmmaking.
Brooklyn filmmaker Emily Abt's well-meaning, pro-feminist doc offers little new insight in seeking to raise awareness that black women are disproportionately at high risk for HIV infection.
Three cheers to director Emily Apt for making such a sobering, informative and emotionally-engaging full-length feature debut.
Audience Reviews for All of Us
[font=Century Gothic]"All of Us" is an illuminating documentary about Dr. Mehret Mandefro, a resident at Montefiore Hospital in the South Bronx, who was born in Ethiopia(where she returns for research on her project) and raised in Northern Virginia. While she gives the devil his due by giving some credit to the Bush Administration for its ABC program(Abstinence, Being faithful and Condoms if necessary) in fighting the spread of AIDS amongst African American women which is much higher than the population at large, she feels that it is not enough. So, she starts a project to look at the underlying causes which include poverty, an inordinate proportion of African American men in prison(which the Rockefeller Drug Laws may have something to do with) and the lack of control in the professional and personal lives of these women.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The documentary follows two HIV positive women who are part of Dr. Mandefro's study and who relate to her despite their different backgrounds. Chevelle is engaged to be married and studying to earn her GED. Tara is in much worse shape since she also suffers from cervical cancer. But I think there is questionable relevance about also including Dr. Mandefro's personal life since it just feels like we are eavesdropping on her relationship. Anyway, she definitely has her work cut out for her but how many of us get a chance to work on something so truly worthwhile and important?[/font]
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