And the band played on (1993)

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode

Starring Mathew Modine, Alan Alda, Ian McKellen, Lilly Tomlin, Richard Gere.

This is a movie that impacted me when I first saw it and in all honesty, it still does to some degree. The movie is about the AIDS epidemic.

The movie follows different sectors and how they handled the situation. The CDC tries to discover the characteristics of the disease and how to fight it. The politics and insurance people. The gay community is represented as they fight for the government to act. It was such a complicated issue as it also affected blood banks. The movie has a few storylines all connected and some characters like Bill Krause who were real and were part of the fight against AIDS.

Looking at it in terms of a film, it is a great movie filled with drama. It is intense as we see all the different groups fighting against something none understood. There is a lot of sadness for all the lives that were lost, those represented in the film and so many that were not. There is a scene that is so heartbreaking and so sad that it is true, where Modine’s character in anger says to the insurance people how many have to die for it to be profitable to save lives, shows how executives play with people’s lives.

The movie has a lot of great actors in it. The main cast includes a great performance by Mathew Modine. Ian McKellen also gives a great performance. I think because of the importance of this film everyone gave their best to the performances. Steve Martin, Richard Gere, Phil Collins, and Anjelica Houston all appear, and there were more known faces.

I know that AIDS now is more controlled but still this movie provides a time capsule to a difficult moment. At the end there is a montage with Elton John’s song “The Last Song” displaying artists and people lost to AIDS, completely moving.

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