Tuesday, December 04, 2012

My Film Debut,
'United in Anger's Berkeley Screening Wed Nite


The fantastic documentary produced and directed by my friends and colleagues Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman about ACT UP/New York and a supporting cast of thousands from a lotta of other chapters, "United in Anger", will screen on Wednesday, December 5.

My cherished cinema venue in Berkeley, the Pacific Film Archive, shows the film tomorrow at 7 PM as part of the PFA and Berkeley Art Museum's observance of Day Without Art.

I saw "United in Anger" when it played to an enthusiastic audience at Frameline up on the enormous Castro Theatre silver screen. That was the first and probably only time I was in a film at our beloved movie palace, and needless to say it was thrilling experience hearing the audience cheer during my performance at the infamous St. Patrick's Cathedral demonstration.

But the absolute real pleasure of the documentary was the insiders' take on ACT UP, our mission and emotions, and all of our dead and absent friends alive again on celluloid (okay, videotape) and being reminded our anger and advocacy saved countless lives.

The people of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power accomplished freaking miracles, and without any paid staffers or burdensome bureaucracy, miracles still resonating around the world today.

See what genuine grassroots activism was during the plague years - before there were computers, cell phones and the web. Get your ass to the PFA tomorrow night and see "United in Anger".

From the program notes:

Introduction by Jonathan Winters who is a founding member of ACT UP East Bay. He recently completed his History B.A. thesis at UC Berkeley, "ACTing UP by the Bay: a short history of AIDS Activisim in the San Francisco and East Bay Area." 

"As scrappy and passionate as the actions it documents."—NY Times 

The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power was founded in New York City within days of Larry’s Kramer’s 1987 warning that the gay community was dying. Jim Hubbard’s exhilarating and empowering film captures ACT UP in the act of invention. Loud and brash, inclusive and innovative, ACT UP used street protests and creative acts of civil disobedience to grab headlines and target pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and the Catholic Church. Contemporary interviews, intercut with archival footage, reveal the lasting power of this grassroots movement that redefined activism and AIDS politics—and saved lives.

2 comments:

vcdiva said...

Act-UP's tenacity and willingness to put up a good fight undoubtedly saved numerous lives, including mine. I remember laying on the New York Health Departments steps with my body being outlined in chalk because Act-Up wanted to show all the lives that were being lost in a day! It was shocking reality once we could look at the streets and see all the bodies! A very powerful statement! Act-Up's in the United States made a difference and and impact on me. I will never forget them! Thank you Michael! <3

Michael said...

Hi Veronika Fimbres - Grand Trans Diva! Always nice to hear from you. Thanks for your kind message of love and support.