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Gender & Sexual Studies
Pages 9 (2259 words)
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt is a documentary film released in 1989 by Dustin Hoffman.It follows the story on NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, focusing on various people represented by Quilt panels by combining footage from the archives and personal stories
The documentary is also punctuated by various statistics that detail Americans diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the epidemic’s earlier years. The documentary relates and narrates the lives of Dr. Tom Waddell, who founded Gay Games, a young hemophiliac David Mandell, Robert Perryman who got AIDS by injecting drugs, Jeffrey Sevcik who was gay, and David Campbell who was a veteran in the US Navy. As well as their personal stories, the film documents the delayed response to AIDS by the Reagan administration using archival footage of government officials (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt), reactions by medical practitioners, and the initial attempts by gay men to use the AIDS issue to organize the community. The documentary clearly brings into focus the AIDS era, although it does not break any new ground that has not already been covered. However, what makes this film important is that it creates and documents a historical era during which hysteria on AIDS and its relation to the gay community was starting to turn to compassion for those who were infected. It seems to tell that this only occurred at the end of the Reagan administration, which, from the film, considered the disease to be a moral issue and not a public healthcare issue. T ...
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