The movie, And the Band Played On, talks about the origin of the AIDS virus and how it was spread across the world. It began with a scene in 1976, Central Africa, that shows how the Ebola disease affected a village and was contained before it was spread. This was to show the beginning of another serious disease called AIDS. The world was not prepared to handle such a contagious plague. Doctors treating people with this virus thought that the first cases of the HIV virus was just an abnormality of a disease, because of this, the disease started to spread all over.
During the 141 minutes of this movie, I was able to see different points, such as the beginning of HIV, the misconceptions it had, and the anguish it brought to the doctors as well as people around the world. I have not read the book And The Band Played On, from Randy Shilts but I’ve learned that it is a very good resource to learn about AIDS. I think the movie brings a lot of useful information about AIDS, how it was fast spread, how people reacted to the situation and what activist did to stop the racism that people infected with this virus suffered. There was a scene that struck me.
The scene that was set in a early-eighties Halloween parade, where gay men, some them probably didn’t even know they were infected, march by in slow-motion, dressed with plastic skulls as death covering their faces. Of course, the most powerful scene in the film is the documentary, where footage of dozens real-life AIDS victims plays with Elton John’s beautiful “The Last Song”. This actually gave me Goosebumps. Negligent doctors that did not take the matter seriously caused this epidemic. As hard it is to see that this was one big factor, it was interesting to learn how everything happened.
I truly did not know how it started and how it was handled. How the death toll raised from 1 death to 119 deaths in 17 states in only months really proved that this shouldn’t have happened. But also, the fearless way that activist fought for their rights, many of them have already died, like the author of the book, teach us to never give up our rights and always stick together whenever we want our ideas to be taken seriously. By the year 2000 more than 40 million people will have AIDS. Even though it is less than one percent of the total world population, it is still a growing and scary number. I thought that it was a very educational video.
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