• Best Documentary Feature


I was definitely dreading this film. Yes because it is about something very scary and sad but also because I was scared it would be too much like The Invisible War. About something important but not really a good movie. That is not the case with How To Survive A Plague. It’s terribly sad but it’s shot well and keeps you interested.

The film was pretty much all archive footage, both media and home footage, with voiceovers by some of the activists that are still alive today. They did an excellent job of showing the personal and public effects AIDS has on people. It’s too bad I was only 5 or so when this was going on cause I would have protested with them! It was kind of funny, one of the people that shows up a lot in the protest footage was this girl and her title was “Teenager.” It seems like she grew up to be involved in some great things but in my mind I just imagined everyone there wondering why she was there, I’m sure that wasn’t the case though.

I think the saddest part to me involved the internal working of the main AIDS group who were called Act Up. They did some fantastic stuff but eventually split into different factions due to their inability to work together. I guess to me it was kind of sad to see people working towards something great and having difficulty even being on the same side.

All in all I though this was a good movie. I definitely like Searching For Sugarman the most in the Best Documentary category but if this won I think that would be fantastic as well.


I was nervous about watching How To Survive a Plague because I wasn’t much in the mood for feeling really bad, and I knew it was a documentary on AIDS. Luckily, though, it was much more interesting than that, and though it was upsetting, it wasn’t like watching Philadelphia or something.

What makes How To Survive a Plague so interesting was how much it focuses on the chemical aspect of HIV and AIDS, and what can be done to prevent or make it better; it took a more scientific approach. Along with the scientific approach, it focused on what AIDS activists in the 80’s and 90’s did to try to attack HIV and AIDS using that scientific approach, by protesting ineffective regulations for testing and distributing drugs.

AIDS isn’t a new topic for documentaries, and it was nice to see one look at it from a different point of view.

One thought on “HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (2012)

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