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The movie that was almost never made, adapted from a controversial book, “And the Band Played On,” will be shown by the Lake County Stonewall Democratic Club Friday, Sept. 18.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Redbud Library, Conference Room, 14785 Burns Valley Road, Clearlake.
The book, written by openly gay journalist Randy Shilts, details with daunting statistics and primary sources the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and the denial and refusal to recognize the great crisis as the virus HIV spread across the nation.
Optioned by a mainstream studio that realized that it was too controversial to film, the movie took about six years before it was produced by HBO in 1993.
In an attempt to pare down the epic proportions of the book, the movie concentrates on Dr. Don Francis of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta and the slow reluctance of the government to contribute funds, and the denial of the gay community to recognize and deal with the deadly virus.
The movie is still compelling and informative with a stellar cast starring Lily Tomlin, Gary Oldham, Steve Martin, Richard Gere, Sir Ian McClellan and Angelica Houston.
Gripping in its intensity and a grim reminder of how politics can become a liability in dealing with health issues, the movie remains relevant and pertinent to today's audience, particularly in light of the recent swine flu outbreak.
The movie is free, and refreshments such as popcorn and soft drinks will be served.
Everyone is invited. Come and enjoy this landmark movie.