HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose 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. David joins us to talk about his fly-on-the-wall documentary.
“Served powerfully, with minimal adornment… A moving and meticulous documentary about AIDS activism in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“…An epic celebration of heroism and tenacity, and less directly, a useful template for any fledgling activist movement, demonstrating the effectiveness of inside/outside strategy.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter