"How to Survive a Plague"
**** (four stars)
Powerful beyond belief, director David France's chronicle of a decade of the AIDS epidemic captures both the tragedy of looming death and the righteous anger against uncaring politicians and overcautious scientists. A wealth of archival footage, shot during street protests and organizational meetings, trace the growth of the activist group ACT UP as members railed against the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and politicians such as Jesse Helms and George H.W. Bush for foot-dragging in getting AIDS-fighting drugs to market. The movie shows ACT UP's triumphs, setbacks and internal arguments – for a gripping account of the ups and downs of intelligent activism.
-- Sean P. Means
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