How to Survive a Plague (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

How to Survive a Plague2012

How to Survive a Plague (2012)



Critic 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.

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Movie Info

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 self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and '90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for How to Survive a Plague

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (42)

David France's rousing and inspirational documentary should be required viewing for political activists everywhere.

May 26, 2020 | Full Review…

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

May 10, 2016 | Full Review…

A compellingly watchable portrait of a battle fought under that most memorable rallying cry: "Silence = Death". Bravo.

November 11, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This inspirational, unexpectedly hilarious film is a patchwork of archival footage that takes us up to the present day.

November 8, 2013 | Full Review…

This documentary by David France persuasively argues that one of the greatest grassroots activist campaigns of modern times was the Act Up movement ...

November 7, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

David France's documentary about the 1980s/90s American gay community and its leading role in discovering "combination therapy" - the anti-HIV magic bullet - will be inspiring among audiences from the G20.

November 7, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for How to Survive a Plague

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overview of that which was the most devastating plague that hit the world in the past century, and an essential historical document that shows how activism played the most important role during the acme of the epidemic.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

An excellent documentary that effectively conveyed the desperation, fear and power of the gay community during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Really well done.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


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 documentaries.

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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