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United in Anger: A History of ACT UP by

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United in Anger: A History of ACT UP is a unique feature-length documentary that combines startling archival footage that puts the audience on the ground with the activists and the remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective – how a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

Keep the Lights On spoke with director Jim Hubbard a few months ago, just before the premiere of United in Anger at the MOMA. Tomorrow, July 6, it will open at the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village.

Praised for its seamless blend of historical footage with contemporary interviews and accurate but streamlined storytelling, United in Anger successfully shows how the efforts of a few vocal and passionate individuals started a movement that rocked the nation and the world. Also crucial, notes a review in the Village Voice, is how “the variety of interviewees in Hubbard’s doc—men and women of different races and classes—underscores just how diverse ACT UP was in its heyday.”

The film takes the viewer through the planning and execution of a dozen exhilarating major actions including Seize Control of the FDA, Stop the Church, and Day of Desperation, with a timeline of many of the other zaps and actions that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis. United in Anger reveals the group’s complex culture – meetings, affinity groups, and approaches to civil disobedience mingle with profound grief, sexiness, and the incredible energy of ACT UP.

Hubbard partnered with noted AIDS historian and writer Sarah Schulman to produce the film. The two also founded the ACT UP Oral History Project, a collection of over one hundred video interviews with surviving members of ACT UP, New York.

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP opens Friday, July 6, at the Quad Cinema. Producer Jim Hubbard and members of ACT UP will be present for a Q&A session after the 7:40pm screening. For tickets and more information, click here.

S.J. Horwitz
S.J. Horwitz is a senior Visual & Media Arts major at Emerson College in Boston, MA, with a concentration in screenwriting. She was a recent fellow in the 2012 Writers Guild of America East Foundation On-Line Mentoring Program and has won the Ivy Film Festival short screenplay competition. She currently resides in New Jersey and is hoping to pursue a career in writing for television.

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