How to survive a plague
How To Survive A Plague is a powerful documentary charting battles fought against the misinformation and homophobia surrounding Aids in the US. It explores the struggles of gay people living and working in environments where intense sexism and homophobia were commonplace.
Thousands of people came on demonstrations called by Aids advocacy group ActUp. This helped to change perceptions and inspired people to fight back against oppression, and for access to medication for Aids.
However the film points out that Aids and the fight for access to proper treatment for it is not a relic from the past. It succeeds in arguing that although gains have been made in the perceptions around gay people and Aids, there is still a long way to go.
Directed by David France. In cinemas Friday 8 November
Queens of the coal age
Maxine Peake from Shameless and Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh play miners’ wives in Peake’s dramatisation of the 1993 Parkside Colliery occupation. Four women who’d been at the heart of mobilising to support the 1984-5 miners’ strike launched a desperate bid to save the remaining pits from closure.
In Peake’s own words, “This is about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. It’s a piece about friendship, camaraderie and perhaps surprisingly, much laughter.”
Written by Maxine Peake, BBC Radio 4 and BBC iPlayer