November #76 : Hope Screens Eternal - by Emily Salzfass

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Masters of Disasters

Out of the Chaos, Voices

The Mighty ACT UP Has Fallen: The Philadelphia Story

Hit Me, Baby, One More Time

Final Chapters

Pilgrim's Progress

St. Louis Blues


Truth and Dare

Dateline Dec. 1

Psst...Get This

Hope Screens Eternal

Hearts & Crafts

Shelf Life

Treatment Interruptus

New Drug Watch: Tenofovir

The Real Female Rubber

Twice Bitten


Curve Ball

Heart Smart?

Darkness at Noon

Stranger in a Strange Land

Editor's Letter


The Face of Terror

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

November 2001

Hope Screens Eternal

by Emily Salzfass

Southern Africa's big export this year -- just in time for World AIDS Day -- is a bushelful of TV documentaries about AIDS. Steps for the Future is the first film anthology of this magnitude to be cultivated in the region. And while some viewers may have had their fill of apocalyptic statistics and shots of fly-infested shantytowns, Steps' 27 shorts delve deep into the African experience of the HIV epidemic to find humanity, individuality and hope -- or as the series' slogan goes, that "actually, life is a beautiful thing."

Funded by the Finnish government with contributions from Denmark, Sweden and Holland, Steps began just last January with an open call for film pitches from HIV positive filmmakers, amateur or professional, in Southern Africa. From some 200 applicants, 27 got the nod, and a team of filmmakers from all over the globe held workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town to train the aspiring African auteurs.

The resulting films fall into four thematic categories: "My Story" are personal testimonials rich with color and detail about local life with HIV; "Children of AIDS" includes the startling five-minute Tsoga (Wake Up), about a South African school where 70 percent of the students tested positive; "Sex and Relationships" features some sexy PSAs and a few highly creative alternative uses for condoms; and "Healing and Dying" unspools tales of African death rituals and burial -- including the three-minute Big Balls, which shows two men building a coffin and reciting the names of friends who have died. "What makes Steps so interesting," says Mette Hoffman-Meyer of Denmark's TV2, "is that the local filmmakers have access to a wealth of stories and the truth behind these stories, something a foreigner would never have access to." The movies will be airing internationally on December 1 (for more info, see

A little farther east and west is the Filipino-American movie American Adobo, a sweet story of five friends living in New York City. Forty-something closeted Gerry (Ricky Davao), in pain because his boyfriend Chris is dying of AIDS, finally comes out to his buddies and finds he has four strong sets of shoulders to cry on. As heartwarming as the savory chicken stew its title refers to, Adobo offers a welcome glimpse into an ebullient culture little seen on the American big screen (opens in U.S. theaters in November).

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.