A combative documentary from the New York AIDS activist group Testing the Limits, its point being that people with AIDS are on a war footing. It takes an unapologetically polemical line, diametrically opposed to the 'neutral' reportage found in the mainstream media, and begins by looking at the media's subtly prejudicial rhetoric of 'victims' and ghettoisation, before focusing on the work of the American 'empowerment movements' and direct-action groups like ACT-UP and People With AIDS Coalition. What's at stake in this battle, the film argues, is a genuinely insurrectionary groundswell that not only proposes a radical challenge to institutionalised exclusions - of women, racial minorities and gay men - but also calls for a direct confrontation of the power structures of the US Government and the drugs multinationals. The film's technique - collaging interviews, demo footage and TV excerpts - makes for a punchy broadsheet approach, punctuated with info-crammed flashes of text, and (unfortunately) a rousing anthem in the 'We are the World' school. Potent stuff, although at times it wears its pamphleteering a little heavily.
Sandra Elgear, Robyn Hutt, David Meieran