Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Battle of amfAR

The Battle of amfAR, dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 2013, USA, 40 min. , coming to HBO Dec. 2013
Entry Denied, dir. Machu Latorre, 2012, USA, 28 min.  [click “Read more” below]
Wednesday, June 26, 4:30 pm @ Castro
Dr. Mathilde Krim

Elizabeth Taylor testifying
to the U.S. Congress
In the 1980’s, AIDS came into public awareness, but Ronald Reagan was President, Jesse Helms was a powerful U.S. Senator, and it was nearly impossible to get any federal support for any research into the cause, treatment, or cure for AIDS. Dr. Mathilde Krim, a noted medical researcher as well as socialite and grandmother, teamed up with Elizabeth Taylor, a sometimes reluctant celebrity, to get private grant funding for vital research efforts through the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR. Dr. Krim had the medical bona fides, and Ms. Taylor had the unparalleled ability to draw public attention, making the team a force to be reckoned with.

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman combine archival footage of Elizabeth Taylor with interviews with Dr. Mathilde Krim and others to form a compelling record of their groundbreaking collaboration and its significant achievements. Well done, highly recommended.

Entry Denied tells the story of three bi-national lesbian and gay couples who, because of the discrimination enshrined in the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were unable to take advantage of the immigration opportunities afforded to opposite-sex spouses, even in cases where they were legally married under state law. Of course, just hours before the screening at the Castro Theatre, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Section 3 of DOMA, the part that prohibited the federal government from granting any benefits to same-sex marriages. That means that the main thrust of the film is now a moot point, but it remains an important historical record of the discrimination that same-sex couples suffered for so many years and of the reasons that we must continue to fight for equality in all aspects of the law. Well done, highly recommended.

The Battle of amfAR • IMDb pageOfficial website with trailer (Vimeo) • amfAR website
Entry Denied • IMDb pageOfficial websitewatch it on Vimeo • Out 4 Immigration website

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