December 1 is World AIDS Day. Today let’s go through some movies about AIDS to learn about the love and hope as well as the fear and struggle of AIDS sufferers.
Dallas Buyers Club 达拉斯买家俱乐部 (2013)
Dallas Buyers Club is an American biographical drama film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The film tells the story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who tried to fight against the disease for survival.
Texas electrician Ron Woodroof was diagnosed with AIDS and he was told that he had just 30 days left to live in 1986 when HIV/AIDS treatments were under-researched, and the disease was not understood and highly stigmatized. At that time AIDS seemed to be most effectively treated by the drug AZT. AZT, however, was only in the clinical trials stage within the US. As part of the experimental AIDS treatment movement, Woodroof smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas for treating his symptoms, and distributed them to fellow people with AIDS by establishing the "Dallas Buyers Club" while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Woodroof died on September 12, 1992 from pneumonia brought on by AIDS, 2,557 days after he was told he could only survive for 30 days.
Love for Life 最爱 (2011)
Adapted from a novel The Dream of Ding Village by Chinese writer Yan Lianke, Love for Life is a film directed by Gu Changwei, and starring Zhang Ziyi, Aaron Kwok, Pu Cunxin and Jiang Wenli. The film was released in China on May 10, 2011.
Blood-selling business flourished in a remote Chinese village before mid-1990s. It was due to the business that the peacefulness of the rural village was disrupted by an outbreak of a disease, which the locals call a 'fever' (AIDS). Villagers learned that there was no cure for the disease and refused to have anything to do with the infected. Lao Zhuzhu, a teacher of the abandoned village school, is the father of Zhao Qiquan, the blood merchant responsible for causing the outbreak, and Zhao Deyi, an AIDS victim. Deyi and all the infected villagers moved to the deserted village school and lived in seclusion. With a guilty conscience, Lao Zhuzhu stayed there to take care of them. It was expected that the infected villagers could live in harmony, but discords occurred one after another in this small harbor. Despite of the gloomy atmosphere, Deyi and Qinqin, a fellow sufferer of AIDS, fell in love with each other. Although their love did not win the blessings and understanding of the people around them, they proved with their life how brilliant love could be even if it was a road full of hardships.
Todo sobre mi madre 关于我母亲的一切 (1999)
The film centers on Manuela, who is a single mother and lives in Madrid with her son Esteban. On his seventeenth birthday, Esteban is hit by a car and killed. After travelling after her son's heart, Manuela quits her job and journeys to Barcelona, where she hopes to find her son's father, Lola, a transvestite she kept secret from her son. In Barcelona, Manuela meets Rosa, a young nun who is pregnant by Lola and is HIV positive. Manuela cares for Rosa during her pregnancy. After Rosa gives birth to a health boy, she dies from AIDS, and Lola who is also dying from AIDS comes back and meets his new son whom Manuela names Esteban. Manuela heads back to Madrid the same way she did before, with the baby boy.
Parting Glances 离别秋波 (1986)
Parting Glances is an American film shot in 1984 and released in 1986. With its realistic look at urban gay life in the Ronald Reagan era and at the height of the AIDS crisis, many film critics consider it an important movie in the history of gay cinema. It was also one of the first American films to address the AIDS pandemic and the only film directed by Bill Sherwood who died of complications due to AIDS in 1990 without ever completing another film.
The story revolves around a gay couple in New York, Robert and Michael. As a farewell party is held for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa, while his partner, Michael, stays behind. Michael's ex-boyfriend, Nick, for whom Michael cooks, looks after and still loves, has AIDS. The film follows a 24-hour period with scenes taking place at the farewell party.
While classified as a drama, the film also contains many comedic moments. Critics praised the movie's witty, realistic dialogue and detailed evocation of gay and gay-friendly urbanites in 1980s Manhattan.