Lovesick

In India, where marriage is a must but AIDS carries a stigma, what are HIV-positive people to do? After discovering India’s first case of HIV in 1986, Dr. Suniti Solomon left a prestigious academic post to found India’s premier HIV/AIDS clinic. Twenty-five years later, India now produces its own anti-retroviral medications, enabling Dr. Solomon’s patients to live longer – and face the pressure to marry. At the age if seventy-two, and in the twilight of her bold and unconventional career, Dr. Solomon has taken on a new role: marriage matchmaker. Like other Indian matchmakers, Dr. Solomon matches by religion, education, and income; but she also matches by white blood cell counts and viral loads. For her, this isn’t just about romance – it is a way to stem the spread of HIV and fight stigma. LOVESICK interweaves Dr. Solomon’s personal and professional journeys with the lives of two patients: Karthik, a reticent bachelor, and Manu who, like many women in India, was infected by her first husband. As Karthik and Manu search for love, they learn how to survive under the shadow of HIV. Shot over eight years and told with humor and compassion, LOVESICK is a surprising and hopeful story about the universal desire for love.
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Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS

NOTHING WITHOUT US tells the inspiring story of the vital role that women have played - and continue to play - in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Combining archival footage and interviews with female activists, scientists and scholars in the US and Africa, Nothing Without Us reveals how women not only shaped grassroots groups like ACT-UP in the U.S., but have also played an essential part in HIV prevention and treatment access throughout sub-Saharan Africa. From beauty parlors in Baton Rouge to the first HIV clinic in Burundi, this film looks boldly at the unaddressed dynamics that keep women around the world at high-risk for HIV, while introducing the remarkable women who have the answers to ending this 30-year old pandemic. As the history of AIDS activism is being written, women, particularly women of color, are being written out of it. This documentary will be a step in restoring women's crucial role in the history and present-day activism around HIV as well as bolstering the work of women everywhere still fighting for their lives.
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Wilhemina's War

In much of America, progress in HIV/AIDS treatment suggests the worst is behind us, but every year 50,000 Americans are still diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS. Astonishingly, it’s one of the leading causes of death of African American women. And nearly half of the Americans with HIV live in the South, where the AIDS epidemic has taken root in rural communities. WILHEMINA’S WAR is an intimate, personal narrative that tells the story of one family’s struggle with HIV over the course of five years. Despite facing institutional and personal obstacles every step of the way, 62-year-old Wilhemina Dixon works tirelessly to combat the stigma and care for her daughter and granddaughter, both HIV-positive. Emmy award winning journalist and Professor June Cross finds Wilhemina, a one woman army fighting against a systemic dehumanization that’s the result of centuries of racism, and lack of access to drugs and treatment. Her story touches upon many of the structural issues that contribute to the alarming rising trend of HIV-positive women in the South: lack of education, lack of access to quality healthcare, lack of transportation, and silence and stigma in the local church congregations. This urgent documentary lays bare the intersection of poverty, race and politics with women’s health and security in the rural south, while showing determination in the face of adversity, and the triumph of the human spirit. Essential viewing for African-American Studies and Public Health courses.
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Simon & I

SIMON & I is an intimate and inspiring portrait of black South African gay rights activist Simon Nkoli, who died of AIDS in 1998, and his fellow activist and protégé, Bev Ditsie. Chronicling two remarkable decades of activism, their story charts the history of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in South Africa and presents a personal account of the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa. Bev unfolds their unique relationship using a mixed format of interviews, archival images and newspaper clips, while speaking honestly about the challenges they faced and the difficult issue of sexism within the gay rights movement. Their hard work and unyielding determination moved South Africa to become the only country in the world to include sexual orientation in its constitutional Bill of Rights. An homage to a great figure in the gay and lesbian rights movement, SIMON & I is equally a tribute to an enduring friendship and bond between two remarkable leaders.
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Shouting Silent

SHOUTING SILENT explores the South African HIV/AIDS epidemic through the eyes of Xoliswa Sithole, an adult orphan who lost her mother to HIV/AIDS in 1996. Xoliswa journeys back home in search of other young women who have also lost their mothers to HIV/AIDS and are now struggling to raise themselves (and, in many cases, their siblings) on their own. Sithole lyrically interweaves their unsettling stories with highly stylized imagery to help convey her own painful memories and document the grim statistics of HIV infection in Africa. These testimonials powerfully demonstrate how entire generations of young people are growing up without their parents and chronicles the devastating impact the AIDS pandemic is having on orphaned children in South Africa. An arresting and timely piece, SHOUTING SILENT is also a cinematographic gem that artistically and meditatively captures how these young women are quickly slipping through the cracks of society.
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Love & Diane

Jennifer Dworkin’s groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, Dworkin documents the struggles of three generations of the Hazzard family as they face a myriad of emotional, financial and personal challenges. LOVE & DIANE is at its heart a highly charged story about a mother and daughter searching for love, redemption and hope for a new future. While caught in a devastating cycle of teen pregnancy and the bureaucracy of an over burdened welfare system, they demonstrate an inspiring resiliency and ability to find strength during the most desperate times. Without falling into stereotypes of welfare and poverty, LOVE & DIANE casts a fair, non-judgmental eye on the Hazzard’s and presents a forgotten, but very real, side of the American experience. This film is a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
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Speaking Out: Women, AIDS and Hope in Mali

The fourth installment of Joanne Burke’s critically acclaimed NEW DIRECTIONS series on women's empowerment in developing countries, SPEAKING OUT presents a compelling case study on the impact of AIDS on women from Mali and the devastating effects the epidemic is having in Africa today. This critically acclaimed documentary profiles a remarkable HIV and AIDS support project in Bamako, Mali, sponsored by The Center for Care, Activity and Council for People Living with HIV (CESAC), and three brave women who tirelessly work on behalf of the infected community. Risking social ostracism and family rejection, Aminita, Oumou and Aissata are among a small group who dare to speak publicly about their HIV+ status. They help others with HIV, particularly women, by joining AFAS, the women's association for the support of widows and children of AIDS. Through their advocacy work they hope to demonstrate to the Mali government the desperate need for a more pro-active HIV and AIDS strategy. With the help of CESAC, these inspiring women are proving that an HIV+ diagnosis is not the end of life, but the start of a positive future for all African men and women.
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DiAna's Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front

Realizing the extreme inadequacy of local information on AIDS prevention, cosmetologist DiAna DiAna, with her partner Dr. Bambi Sumpter, took on the task of educating the Black community in Columbia, South Carolina. This provocative, funny and informative film documents the growth of the South Carolina AIDS Education Network which operates out of DiAna's Hair Ego, the beauty salon where a condom display is as common as a basket of curlers! DiANA'S HAIR EGO has been used by hundreds of educational and community organizations as a model for making a difference.
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Honored by the Moon

In this upbeat and empowering film, Native American lesbians and gay men speak of their unique historical and spiritual role. Within the Native American community, homosexuality was traditionally associated with the power to bridge worlds. Interviews with leading activists and personal testimony attest to the positive and painful experiences of being Native and gay. Produced by Smith (Dakota) for the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force to raise issues of homophobia within the Indian community, this ground-breaking documentary is also an important contribution to culturally sensitive discussions of homosexuality.
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Her Giveaway

Carole Lafavor (Ojibwe), activist, mother and registered nurse, is a person with AIDS. In this candid and moving portrait, Lafavor relates how she has come to terms with AIDS by combining her traditional beliefs and healing practices with western medicine. HER GIVEAWAY is more than just basic information—it is an inspiring example of how we can all learn from the Native American philosophy of illness. Produced by Smith (Dakota) for the Minnesota American Indian AIDS Task Force, this film confronts the “official” invisibility of women, Native Americans and lesbians with AIDS.
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