In the late 1980s an unlikely ensemble of people changed the course of history with an unprecedented type of activism, turning AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
At a time of rampant AIDS-related deaths in the US, an unlikely ensemble of fiercely passionate men and women, mostly HIV positive, changed the course of history with an unprecedented type of activism, to save their own lives and those of millions of others.
Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists educated themselves in virology, pharmacology, and cellular biology, infiltrating the pharmaceutical industry and helping to identify promising new drugs. Taking their battle to the highest levels of AIDS research with enormous demonstrations and irrefutable arguments the movement forced pharmaceutical companies to buckle to their demands, eventually having individuals appointed to advisory panels where research decisions are made. It was from this vantage point that they helped to identify the first truly effective medications against HIV – against any virus, in fact.
Using a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage, filmmaker David France tells a story of hope, activism and staggering resilience, and of how a then-reviled minority successfully fought to turn AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.