United in Anger: A History of ACT UP: The Grassroots Movement to End the AIDS Crisis Screening

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Adult , Senior
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Program Description


Celebrate LGBT Pride Month and come join us for a screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP: The Grassroots Movement to End the AIDS Crisis Screening!

An inspiring documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches fighting the epidemic. Utilizing oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and government neglect.

The film takes the viewer through the planning and execution of a half 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 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.

This acclaimed documentary screened at dozens of universities, museums and film festivals, including Hot Docs, Frameline and Outfest.

From the New York Times Review

It has been 25 years since the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, spurred by political indifference and medical foot-dragging, was formed in the basement of Manhattan’s lesbian and gay community center. Notable for the scope and originality of its actions and the energy of their execution, the group, better known as Act Up, channeled its collective fury into combating life-threatening misinformation, speeding up the sluggish pace of drug approvals and expanding the definition of AIDS to allow women and drug users to receive benefits. Whether popping up in front of a bemused Dan Rather on “The CBS Evening News,” or storming Wall Street to protest drug costs, its members turned civil disobedience into performance art.

Combining rousing feet-on-the-ground footage with chatty interviews from the Act Up Oral History Project — often juxtaposed with robust archival film of the speakers’ younger selves — the director, Jim Hubbard, lays out a methodical timeline of orneriness and daring. Inherently dramatic and frequently moving, the group’s actions were driven not just by anger, but also by fear: To a sizable segment of the public and its leaders, AIDS was more than just a devastating disease.


Additional Resources: 

Study Guide for United in Anger: A History of ACT UP
Matt Brim CUNY College of Staten Island,



Advance Registration Encouraged

Advance registration encouraged, but not required, in order to receive an email reminder about the event. Walk-ins welcome!

This program is offered in English.