Thursday, 30 November 2017

United In Anger

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day.

Got a couple of hours to spare? Youtube has United In Anger here - a film I had the pleasure of watching on the big screen at the Cornerhouse 70 Oxford Street

It's a fine documentary film about the rise and fall of ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, a huge and high-impact campaign group which worked mostly in the USA in protest at state and corporate indifference to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. I remember - or I think I remember - ACT UP stalls at Flesh at the Hacienda circa 1992. They had some brilliant designers making powerful posters and other art.

It is well worth a watch though it makes me think I'd love to see something equivalent about the UK. Of course it'd be different - our government was somewhat more responsive to the issue ("Don't Die Of Ignorance") and while there was a lack of effective medication worldwide at that stage and a shared media hysteria at spending money on healthcare for people with HIV, I get the impression that the difference the NHS makes is huge. But like so many LGBT+ stories, and indeed those of other marginalised groups, the USA is not the same as the world and the tale here is a smidge different.

I get the impression that almost everything in the film is in New York or Washington DC, too, and I would quite like to have more of a flavour of what it was like elsewhere in the USA, what the other chapters of ACT UP were doing. Because as well as America not being the world, New York is not America any more than the bottom right-hand corner of our island is Britain.

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