It is World HIV/AIDS Day today and it is sad to realize that people still have a lot of misconceptions about the disease. It is almost a stigma in the society and the patients are looked at with skepticism. In a progressive world where we are finally accepting and accommodating all kinds of situations and people, it is very important we treat these patients that way too.
One of the most widespread and false assumptions that we hold is that HIV is communicable via touching. This results in the patients being treated as outcasts. It makes them feel more lonely than they already were and makes it tougher to cope up with the circumstances.
One of the ways to take a step towards opening people’s eyes is to show them what the disease actually is. And more than that, to show them how the person suffering from this is actually feeling. Empathizing goes a long in changing people’s outlook. Here is a list of movies that truly touched this sensitive issue with amazing brilliance:
1. Tongues Untied (1989)
The film not only talks about AIDS but also about black gay men and their identities and the racial discrimination faced by them.
2. Philadelphia (1993)
This classic movie showcases Tom Hanks as Andrew Beckett who is a lawyer but hides his illness (HIV) and homosexuality from his firm. Soon, he is falsely framed and looks for representation in court.
3. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
This is a biographical film based on Ron Woodroof. He was an AIDS patient (in the 1980s). who later started smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas and distributed them among other AIDS patients, while facing opposition from the FDA.
4. Gia (1998)
Another biopic based on one of America’s first supermodels – Gia Marie Carangi, it was played by Angelina Jolie. This is a heartbreaking story of a talented woman who got into a spiral of drugs and loneliness and eventually died of AIDS.
5. The Hours (2002)
The film depicts how HIV affects the patients and the lives around them by interconnecting 3 stories of 3 different women in different decades. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore have done a commendable job.
6. Life Support (2007)
Ana Wallace is diagnosed with AIDS due to a drug injection. She has now dedicated her life to help people in the Life Support (an AIDS outreach group) while trying to resurrect her bond with her daughter that she lost custody of 11 years ago.
7. Precious (2009)
Precious is 16 year old girl who has been a subject of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by her mother and father. Resulting in two pregnancies from her father, Precious is traumatized and tries to find a way of life while also battling AIDS.
8. Philomena (2013)
Philomena is a woman who was forced to give her son up for adoption 50 years ago. She gets to know he has HIV now and tries to cope with it.
9. The Normal Heart (2014)
The movie depicts the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York between 1981-1984 via Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo), a writer who is also the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group.
10. Holding The Man (2015)
This heart wrenching movie tells a tale of two gay lovers who met in high school and were together until one of them died due to AIDS. The other struggles to write their story before he loses his life to the disease too. What is more heart breaking is that it is a true story and the couple had been together for 15 years.
These movies might help us in getting a new perspective towards people battling with AIDS. They need our support and love and should not be made to feel alienated. Let us all strive to achieve that, this World HIV Day.