11.07.2019 in Review

And the Band Played on Essay

And the band played on is a drama film directed by Rodger Spottiswoode, the film is based on a non-fiction book with the same title by Randy Shilts. This film is set in a remote village in DRC Congo in a remote village on the banks of Ebola River and tells the story of the first five years of AIDS in the US. An American epidemiologist Don Francisarrives in this village only to find the residents and the doctors working here have been swept away by some mysterious illness.When he begins his work in the Centre for Disease Control; he is haunted by the images of the bodies that he cremated when he was first exposed to this epidemic. As the movie proceeds, he discovers that the unknown disease is Human Immune-Deficiency Virus that attacks the human immune system thereby subjecting him to the virus that causes a disease called AIDS.

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In this film, Shilts describes it as “national failure”: there are a number of socio political that affected the fight against the disease. First and foremost, was the fact that the gay community was suffering a lot from the consequences of this unknown disease. According to Francis, this particular disease was first discovered among the gay community who came out in their numbers to seek for treatment. As a matter of fact, the government did not give a lot of interest to this particular concern and as such, the numbers of the patients increased. This was a major social concern for the Centre for Disease Control .

There was also another major concern that created a problem for the fight against this malady. The government agencies such as the department of defense and Social Security get a lot of money at the expense of the patients. Many donors provided money for treatment and control through these agencies which are marred by corruption. Inso doing, the money never reached the patients thereby putting them at more risk. Politicians tend to down play the effects of this malady owing to their reluctance in accepting it as a matter of national concern.

According to Shilts, HIV indicated that death was imminent and as such, the victims were a hopeless lot. Critics such as have identified this as a misconception that Shilts did not address.The director of this film further insinuates that since HIV/AIDS did not infect people who matter in the society such as politicians and academicians, it was not a major societal issue. The media was therefore not supposed to bring to the public eye the impacts of the malady.

Earlier victims were identified through observation of various symptoms that were suspected to be related to the unknown disease. After they were identified, they were isolated from the rest of the society so that they do not infect the “healthy “members of the society.

It is a great film that highlights the plight of the forgotten clique suffering from HIV/AIDS. The director goes to an extent to prove that it is indeed a pandemic that the government agencies should not take for granted. It was a timely produced film that seeks to criticize the government effort in the fight against HIV/AIDS. There are many government agencies until today that rake in a lot of millions at the expense of the suffering victims. It is imperative to note that as a nursing student, I was most especially impacted greatly in the sense that diagnosis and treatment go hand in hand in the fight against this malady. 

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