Dallas Buyers Club

28 Oct

Come November, a new film about the HIV/Aids epidemic will hit US theaters.  Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner.

An imperfect man fights for survival during an uncertain time in America. Inspired by true events, Ron Woodroof’s story of strength is told in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB…A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence.

 His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks. 

An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Gotham Independent Film Award winner Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron’s lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a buyers club, where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies.[1]

Since the first diagnosis of HIV/Aids in the 1980s, more than 75 million people worldwide have contracted the disease and 36 million have died from it. Currently, 3.3 million of those living with HIV/Aids (out of 35 million) are under the age of 15. [2] It affects both the LGBT and straight communities.  The disease is not a respecter of persons.

Many films have been made about the epidemic such as Philadelphia, The Ryan White Story, 3 Needles, and The Blackwater Lightship.  In the last 40 years have our views and opinions changed about HIV/Aids?  Do we hold more compassion for those who struggle with this disease or do we still carry a negative tone?  Dallas Buyers Club opens in limited release November 1, 2013.

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10 Responses to “Dallas Buyers Club”

  1. Open Book October 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM #

    LB-

    This film could not have come out at a better time. I really believe it will open up a new dialogue about an issue many people have forgotten about given the advanced medical treatment. I was reading some stats and it stated.

    “The number of people living with HIV infection in the United States is higher than ever before. Nearly 1.1 million people were estimated to be living with HIV infection in the United States at the end of 2009, the most recent year with national prevalence estimates. One in five are unaware of their infection.”

    • littlebells October 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM #

      Thank you OB. I agree with your comment. It seems we have lost focus on this disease. It used to just be associated with the gay community and drug addicts. Many women find out they have it after they find out their partner or spouse cheated on them and they have lab work done. Women, who don’t even know they have it then pass it on to children born to them.

      What I find wonderful about the film is that this is a cowboy, heterosexual male who pushes aside his fear of homosexuals and finds compassion for all those who deal with this epidemic.

      • littlebells October 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM #

        ps. I have added some video clips.

        • Open Book October 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM #

          The trailer looks good. I hope it comes out near me.

      • Open Book October 31, 2013 at 3:49 PM #

        “Many women find out they have it after they find out their partner or spouse cheated on them and they have lab work done. Women, who don’t even know they have it then pass it on to children born to them. ”

        That is really sad. I read treatments can slow the course of the disease – some infected people can live a long and relatively healthy life. This film really leaves u questioning the FDA. Only last year they have approved drugs that prevent HIV/Aids. That to me is outrageous given HIV/Aids has been around since the 1980’s.

  2. comicrelief2 November 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM #

    LB,

    Maybe I haven’t paid close enough attention but, but there was a time not that long ago when we saw a lot more movies dedicated to discussing topics that we’re considered urgent to the LGBT community.

    Why do you believe they are resurfacing now? What do you think happened that turned the tide?

  3. comicrelief2 November 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM #

    Sorry this is a really long question three part question. In general, I believe I have heard many claim that actors need to establish a public persona or brand and then stick with it. Yet Mr. McConaughey, is one of the few actors I’ve seen break with his image a few times in his career.

    Do you agree with that professional advise for actors? Or do you think branding is a serious concern for creative career holders like actors?

  4. comicrelief2 November 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM #

    I remember when he first started out he had a very serious public image. Even his film roles tended to reflect his interest in serious themes.

    Later one he sort of morphed into superficial guy. He was the constant focus of tabloid stories, about his love life, who he was dating, and what he looked like. I don’t recall him being one of people magazine’s, America’s sexiest men. Honestly I’m not sure I keep track. But I believe he must have scored very high on that list?

    How do you believe Matthew was able to sustain a career in that corridor of the field for so long and it not tarnish him permanently?

  5. comicrelief2 November 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM #

    Given how short most people’s “fifteen minutes” are, how was this transformation possible?

  6. comicrelief2 November 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM #

    Now it seems Mr McConnahey has returned to a serious themed career and roles. Given how short most people’s “fifteen minutes” are, what really happened to help him change his image?


    I’ve noticed a few articles that now act as though his career transformation was understood and predicatable from the very start. What do you believe about those articles?

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