How to Survive a Plague
How to Survive a Plague (2012)

How to Survive a Plague is the story of two coalitions-ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)-whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 21, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2013
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Critic Score: 99% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Angry, powerful, and stirring, How to Survive a Plague is a brilliantly constructed documentary about the activists who pushed for action to combat the AIDS epidemic.

Cath Clarke
Time Out

It can't be long before we see the Hollywood version.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

From a terrible epidemic comes a beautiful documentary.

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Barbara Shulgasser
Common Sense Media

Moving docu follows AIDS scourge and history of gay activism

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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic

David France has made an absorbing film to document that moment of immense implosion, called How to Survive a Plague.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

A raw history, often cluttered and sometimes repetitive but, when strategies fail along with immune systems, deeply affecting.

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Monica Castillo
Bitch Media

There are personal glimpses into the home lives of activists that left many in my theater wiping their tears on their coat sleeve.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

As this stirring, scrupulous doc reveals, the members of ACT UP fused the fervor of revolutionaries, the tenacity of trial lawyers, and the rage of the dispossessed to change the very shape of the epidemic.

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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star

Presents a valuable template for how grassroots activism can temper societal prejudice and challenge governmental indifference in the face of a mysterious and remorseless killer.

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David Edwards
Daily Record (UK)

It all adds up to not just a document of the time but a blueprint for today's activists.

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More reviews for How to Survive a Plague

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
An extremely enlightening overview of that which was the most devastating plague that hit the world in the past century, and an essential historical document… More
Everett Johnson
"How to Survive a Plague" is a sad, yet uplifting look at the coalitions ACT UP and TAG in the battle against AIDS. This documentary uses archival… More
Christian C
An excellent documentary that effectively conveyed the desperation, fear and power of the gay community during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Really well… More
Jim Hunter
Compiled footage reveals the political protests during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. I must first say that I am politically and socially aligned with… More
Thomas Johnston
A topic that should have been more interesting to me... but it was quite hard for my interest to survive this dull documentary - and I usually like… More
Markus Robinson
By using (mostly) never before seen archival footage, David France's unflinching documentary "How to Survive a Plague" DOCUMENTS the early… More