More Reviews – Sex in an Epidemic

“‘Sex in an Epidemic’ makes a crucial contribution to our knowledge about the emergence and subsequent explosion of AIDS in the US and the many forms of activism it engendered. This beautifully crafted documentary, as moving as it is intelligent, is a must-have addition to our libraries and classrooms. Jean Carlomusto’s important film tracks a history of AIDS panic and AIDS activism that is compelling and provocative, exactly the kind of work my students are eager to engage. I immediately plan to add it to the syllabus for my courses at USC. There is a new generation of young people who are hungry for this history in all its emotional and political complexity.The film brilliantly incorporates archival media footage and visual images from the earliest days of AIDS with astute and inspiring commentary from several generations of AIDS activists. I can’t wait to share this documentary with my students!” David Román, Professor, Department of English and American Studies, USC – Author of Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture, & AIDS

“’Sex in an Epidemic’ explores the social and cultural history of HIV/AIDS in the US and its impact on the gay community, linking the emergence of the disease in the early 1980s to contemporary sex education approaches. Including interview footage from frontline gay activists and news reports from the early 80s through the late 2000s, this is a powerful and urgent look into the political controversies surrounding AIDS education. An early narrator explains that he wants people now to know what it was like then – the film succeeds admirably in that regard, reminding us both of the panic surrounding AIDS in its early days as well as our nation’s ongoing ambivalence about sex education. Offering a compelling social justice argument throughout, this film is perfect for classroom use.” C. Lee Harrington, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Affiliate, Women’s Studies Program, Department of Sociology & Gerontology, Miami University

“‘Sex in an Epidemic’ acts as an important primer on the past three decades of the AIDS crisis and the activism it has prompted. Made by Jean Carlomusto, long intimately involved on the front lines of AIDS activism and documentation, this video reminds viewers of the early uncertainty and panic that surrounded the disease’s mysterious symptoms, the invention of safer sex, and the controversies surrounding sex education and policy reform. Especially for younger viewers who were born after AIDS already existed, this video offers essential lessons in a history that is too often obscured. The film also alerts us to more recent efforts to influence local policy change and demand national and international strategies to continue battling the epidemic.”
Lucas Hilderbrand, Professor, University of California-Irvine

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