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It's finally here -- a theatrical release of a film about the remarkable early history of AIDS treatment activism. This history, which we've never properly memorialized and honored, and largely unknown to younger generations, is often described as our nation's last great social movement. If you care about changing the world, regardless of the issue, you have to see this film.

HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE opens this Friday, September 21st, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, and expands to other cities after that (the full list is here). Rave reviews have been pouring in, like this one in The Nation. Over 100,000 people have watched the new trailer online (friends have told me that audiences applauded this past weekend after seeing it before movies they attended in New York). If you haven't seen the trailer, I've posted it below.

It's been thrilling and surreal being a "subject" in this documentary by journalist and first-time director David France. I was only one of hundreds in New York, and thousands worldwide, who were comrades in ACT UP. It was a movement, built on love and community, that changed the world. I still feel humbled to have witnessed it.

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Comments on Peter Staley's blog entry "HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE Opens Friday!"

I saw the film yesterday afternoon at IFC, NYC with my mother and friends I worked with at GMHC and an HIV research/doctors office in the 90s. We all found the film incredibly powerful. I knew some of the story of ACT UP NY and TAG, but not all of it. I am glad it has been documented so lovingly. It deserves that. What you did was amazing and saved so many lives. Thank you.

Thanks, Jill. Glad you saw it. David France kind of stunned me with how beautifully and respectfully he captured those times. Tell all your friends to see it!

As I watched the film, two thoughts kept coming to mind: 1) you and the others were incredibly brave and helped save my life; 2) I wish I could find such a cute boyfriend. :-)

I saw this brilliant movie at IFC last Friday. Every review is a rave, and deservedly so. This difficult story has been well told. I was diagnosed 23+ years ago, and can't imagine making the decision to get tested and surviving without ACT UP. The heroes and role models in that meeting room were a source of strength and guidance. Peter, you are a freakin' movie star, and I can't possibly thank you enough for your courage and inspiration. Everyone - see this film!

Hi Peter,
The trailer was awesome. I can't wait to see the movie.
The movie comes at a good time - today - when HIV/AIDS is being forgotten (or ignored) by society.
The gay community and everybody suffering from this terrible disease owes a debt of gratitude to ACT UP and all AIDS activists who put everything on the line.
Thanks to all of you.
Any idea when and where the movie will be released in Canada?

I saw the film on Saturday, September 29. It was part of the Dayton, Ohio Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. I was truly moved by it. It brought back some powerful memories of the outrageous tactics of the brave ACT UP people and how necessary those tactics were -- and often still are! This should be required viewing for all who think we can't change the system. It CAN be done. ACT UP proved it!


The film is amazing, and I am so inspired by your work and sacrifice that the film portrayed.

I commend you for your strength, applaud you for your efforts, and thank you for truly making the world a better place.

I just saw the movie this evening. I was one three on a panel- two AIDS activists and the first full-time AIDS beat reporter for The Dallas Morning News. The movie was powerful and captivating. Some of us were in DC and at some of the other venues. It was cathartic. I'm glad you made it. You were powerfully portrayed and if you're half the person you appeared, your the next best thing to an angel on earth.

Peter, I saw the film this evening in Dallas and am still up thinking about it at 4 am. I'm two years older than you and a 25+ year survivor. First of all, thank you. My HIV-partner of five years was with me this evening, and the film provided him a better understanding of what I personally went through during those "war years" with all my HIV brothers and sisters.

Most of all, I feel incredibly blessed to be here making a difference every day in the LGBTQ Dallas community. I was able to retire well in 2006 after a 23 year banking career and spend my energy assisting non-profit arts organizations. Now I've transformed to social services, serving my 2nd year as President of Resorce Center Dallas Foundation, our LGBTQ community center. We're raising money to construct a much needed new facility. Although there is sadness in reflection, there is hope and inspiration at the same time. I hope our paths cross some day and wish you the very best. Gary in Dallas

What a beautiful note, Gary. I really hope we meet someday.

Thanks for this, Don. I don't know what percentage I am, but they definitely left all of my warts on the cutting room floor. I feel blessed to have been part of such an amazing movement.

What a truly inspiring movie to show the true story. As a young 20 something in he early 90's, I chose to come out by volunteering at the Whitman walker clinic in d.c. I chose to be a buddy, and my life was changed forever. Little did I know that the drugs making their way into the veins of those in my life were there because of the passion of those as Peter staley.

Saw this last night a MOMA in NYC. It was stellar. You and the others are truly heroes to humanity.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Staley published on September 19, 2012 10:56 AM.

Obama Is The Underdog was the previous entry in this blog.

Former Mayor Ed Koch Reviews HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the next entry in this blog.

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