10-20-2017  12:30 pm      •     
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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Black America’s Dreams of Homeownership Still Deferred

Charlene Crowell talks about Black homeownership and the need for financial justice in the Black community ...

On Dick Gregory's Birthday

Dr. Barbara Reynolds recalls Gregory's encouragement to write about 'the seen and the unseen' ...

Parents Deserve “Real” School Choice

Dr. Elizabeth Primas challenges Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on school choice. ...

The Fight to Protect Voting Rights Continues #StayWoke

Derrick Johnson, the interim president and CEO of the NAACP, talks about the fight to protect voting rights ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Kam Williams Special to The Skanner News

By the late Eighties, someone was dying from AIDS every half hour in this country, while the government continued to exhibit a shocking indifference to the epidemic, ostensibly because the disease was seen as an affliction primarily affecting homosexuals. First the Reagan administration and then that of George H.W. Bush handled the crisis with a criminal neglect that, in retrospect, many consider tantamount to genocide.



Because of that bureaucratic indifference, a few visionaries like Larry Kramer, Ann Northrup and Phil Reed realized that "This disease will either kill or politicize this community." Sensing that Silence = Death, they founded ACT UP in order to pressure the government to take the plague seriously.

As one frustrated HIV+ patient explains in "United in Anger," "I might not be able to fight the disease, but I can fight the system."

Directed by Jim Hubbard, this riveting retrospective revisits the seminal moments which gave rise to the AIDS activism movement via a combination of archival footage and present-day reflections.

Uncompromising, theatrical and very media-savvy, ACT UP staged attention-grabbing demonstrations at the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, New York's City Hall and any other seat of power seen as dragging its feet. The grassroots organization's "in your face" tactics worked wonders, gradually forcing politicians to focus on the urgent concerns of a constituency that had previously been pushed to the margins of society.

A telling reminder of just how effective civil disobedience still can be when you tap into a forbidden emotion to unleash the requisite righteous rage needed to challenge an intransigent authority in collective and constructive fashion. 

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 93 minutes

Distributor: Quad Cinema

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