Ron Medley ’73 is a featured speaker in the hour-and-a-half commentary on the DVD of How to Survive a Plague, (Sundance Selects), a highly acclaimed documentary directed by David France that was nominated for an Academy Award. (Medley also appears briefly in the movie.) The film tells the story of the brave men and women in two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
Despite having no scientific training, these improbable, self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With access to remarkable, never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France takes the viewer upclose to the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.