How to Survive a Plague Reviews
The story of these people couldn't be more compelling (the fact that several of these self-educated ACT UP members knew they would die before a cure was found is truly heartbreaking and leads to several moments of overwhelming emotional poignancy and power as they confront this fact). The movement ultimately embodies everything America is supposed to represent in that they rallied and called on their government to act in a way that was truly representative of their interests. That being said, it's also painfully evident that the country still has a long way to go when it comes to dealing with institutional forms of oppression as the rhetoric employed by conservatives two or three decades ago is still horrifically prevalent in modern day political discourse.
It's vital viewing for any member of the LGBT community or anyone who truly wants to understand what it's like to have to fight tooth and nail for every ounce of political and social recognition in a society that blindly fears the unknown out of misguided faithfulness to outdated codes of morality.
While it's obviously not the most sunny documentary there is an uplifting power in seeing people fight for survival. It also gives the viewer a chance to reflect on the modern struggle of LGBT and medical rights, giving perspective to how much we have (and have not) progressed in the past 3 decades.