1 April 2020 | Sasha_Lauren
Documentary about the extraordinary Larry Kramer, AIDS activist
LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE AND ANGER (2015)
Oh, be still, my activist's heart. Righteous anger has never been more beautiful than when playwriter Larry Kramer took on the behemoth of AIDS as his Goliath and fought the government and medical establishment; his goal was to get the FDA to move forward to provide the drugs that his community of gay men and everyone needed to fight this plague. Larry was powerful, influential, and deliciously unrelenting. Some say he was a pain in the ass, but can you blame him? He was a man on a mission fighting against apathy, blame, and corruption to save human lives.
By 1993 AIDS had killed 234,000 in the United States. The number was up to 320,000 in 1995. In typical manner in one of his speeches, Larry fired out, "AIDS is intentional genocide! How long are you going to let your President get away with murder?"
Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, Larry's onetime nemesis and then collaborator says, "There's medicine before Larry Kramer, and there's medicine after Larry Kramer and his army of activists." Fauci and Kramer came together after Larry wrote an open letter in the San Francisco Examiner in 1988, titled, "To Anthony Fauci, an Incompetent idiot." After that, they ran into each other on the street in Montreal. This led to Fauci having AIDS activists at planning meetings and clinical trials.
Fauci said, "Activists can actually be helpful in how we design our scientific approaches."
The ACT UP group that developed from the movement to stop AIDS rewrote the rules by which AIDS drugs were approved. The protease inhibitors are are there because of Larry Kramer and ACT UP. Thousands and thousands of people are alive today because of Larry Kramer. "It's interesting, the similarities between then and now," Kramer said recently in these days of corona virus. "It's almost like going back in time. Life was so awful for us then, just like it is now for everybody."
What a priviledge to get to know about Larry and his heroic efforts. I recommend this documentary.