Films on Aids

Endgame: AIDS in Black America

Documentary Frontline 2012 July10. A groundbreaking two-hour exploration of one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises. Every 10 minutes, someone in the U.S. contracts HIV. Half are black. The number of children born with HIV peaked in the 1990s, amid what were called the “twin epidemics” of HIV and crack. Three decades after the AIDS epidemic hit full-force, the United Nations now says it’s possible to eradicate the disease by 2015 — in part by preventing new infections. Link to View This Frontline Story for Free (Listed by Date 2012 July10):

How To Survive a Plague

Documentary 2012 NR 1hr 49m. Faced with their own mortality, a group of mostly HIV-positive young people break the mold in taking on Washington and the medical establishment.

The Announcement

Documentary 2012 NR 81 minutes. In 1991, basketball’s “Magic” Johnson suddenly retired, announcing that he was HIV-positive. This powerful film chronicles the 20 years that followed. Friends and teammates discuss his inspiring resilience, strength and success on and off the court.

We Were Here

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 29m. The AIDS crisis forever changed gay culture in San Francisco, as examined in this documentary that traces the disease’s impact on five individuals.

Tapestries of Hope

Documentary 2009 NR 1hr 17m. In present-day Zimbabwe, women and girls are routinely victimized, and an epidemic of “virgin rapes” is being fueled by the widley held misconception that men can cure themselves of HIV/AIDS by having sex with virgin women.

I Am Because We Are

Documentary 2008 TV-PG 1hr 26m. Madonna guides viewers on a journey to the African country of Malawi, where the AIDS epidemic and poverty has devastated more than a million children.

Uganda: The Condom Controversy
AIDS and the Abstinence Debate

Documentary Frontline / World 2007. “You must learn how to say no,” booms Ugandan evangelical minister Martin Ssempa. “Say ‘I do not want to have sex. I have chosen not to have sex.'” So begins this Rough Cut, which looks at the controversy over U.S. funding for AIDS relief in Africa. We meet Ssempa, preaching to a classroom of students in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. He’s among a growing number of voices in the country who are teaching an abstinence-only approach to combat the spread of HIV.

POSITHIV: AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
No Longer the Ultimate Death Sentence

Documentary Frontline / World 2007. Since 2002, photographer Pep Bonet has documented Medecins Sans Frontieres’ ARV (anti-retroviral) program in six Sub-Saharan African countries: Zambia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya. In this audio slide show, Bonet talks about the project and the images he captured.

The Age of AIDS

Documentary Frontline 2006. Twenty-five years after the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in America, “Frontline” probes the social, political, economic and scientific factors that led to the rise — and hindered the fall — of the pandemic. This exhaustive history of the disease, which had claimed some 30 million lives by the time this program first aired, includes interviews with key researchers, world leaders, activists and AIDS patients.

The Blood of Yingzhou District

Documentary 2006 NR 38m. Hong Kong filmmaker Ruby Yang chronicles the lives of young orphans living in China’s Anhui province whose parents have died from AIDS.

India: The Sex Workers

Documentary Frontline / World 2004. Frontline/World producer Raney Aronson reports from the coming epicenter of the AIDS epidemic as sex workers and their clients struggle to contain the crisis. In cities rife with sex trafficking, where as many as 60 percent of the people are infected with HIV, can their fight help keep the disease from exploding?

Beat the Drum

Drama 2003 NR 1hr 53m. When a mystery illness (AIDS) takes the lives of his parents, a nine-year-old is forced to join the scores of orphans living on the streets of Johannesburg.


Drama 1993 PG-13 125 minutes. In this heartfelt drama, Philadelphia attorney Andrew Beckett launches a wrongful termination suit against the hand that feeds him when his law firm finds out about his HIV-positive status — and his homosexuality — and fires him.

The Ryan White Story

Docudrama 1989 NR 1hr 34m. After contracting HIV from a tainted blood treatment, teenaged hemophiliac Ryan White is forced to fight for his right to attend public school.

Who Pays for AIDS?

Documentary Frontline 1988. By 1991, health care for AIDS patients in the United States could cost an estimated $16 to $22 billion. Caring for AIDS victims is overwhelming some communities. Frontline examines the impact on patients caught in the middle of a battle between local governments and Washington over who will pay for AIDS.

Aids: A National Inquiry

Documentary Frontline 1986. Fabian Bridges, a homosexual prostitute, bragged he had sex with six partners a night and refused to stop even though he knew he had AIDS. In a special broadcast, Frontline first follows Bridges’ tragic journey across the US and later, a panel of national experts, led by Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson, discuss how Americans should respond to this urgent public health issue.


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