James Wentzy's in-your-face Fight Back, Fight AIDS is a compilation of footage documenting the first ACT UP meeting in 1987 on New York City’s Wall Street and continues to 2002. Amateur video recording—at the demonstration level and from the private, behind-the-scenes meetings and training—reveals the astonishing camaraderie that united a politically enraged community, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Recognizable faces among the hundreds of ACT UP activists, timelessly captured over the 15 years of footage, are likely to be moving. Particularly noteworthy is seeing activist and author Vito Russo issue a speech equating AIDS to war and then demanding to know how the two landscapes differ.
This infinitely relevant political group taught us to fight back against government complacency, protest the high cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and simply ask others, “Where is your rage?”
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