POZ Exclusives : Oscar Goes RED—But Not for AIDS

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

Back to home » POZ Exclusives » February 2008

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

15 Years Ago In POZ


More Web Exclusives

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to news@poz.com.


emailprint

February 25, 2008

Oscar Goes RED—But Not for AIDS

Still, POZ manages to crash the party—with a nominated film based on our Iraq reporting

POZ senior editor Laura Whitehorn got us all excited. In the days leading up to last night’s 80th annual Academy Awards ceremony, she pointed out that we finally have Best Picture nominees that could describe life with HIV. It is a life, too often, of blame and atonement. (Bear with us here.) What’s more, if you believe a recent New York Times cover story on HIV and aging, it is no country for old men (and women). And, of course, there will be bloodwork, and plenty of it. Indeed, so much red gushed throughout last night’s 80th annual ceremonies that AIDS-savvy viewers could be forgiven for thinking Bono had a hand in it. The color was everywhere —from Best Supporting Actress winner Tilda Swinton’s hair, to La Vie en Rose, to the scarlet gowns of Ruby Dee, Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Anne Hathaway, Katherine Heigl and Heidi Klum, who announced that her crimson Galliano number would be auctioned afterward for a medical charity (women’s heart awareness). But if you were looking for any awareness-raising mention of AIDS itself, it was gone, baby. Gone.

Every year, AIDS activists hope that the Oscars will somehow re-embrace the mainstream advocacy of a previous era—when Tom Hanks won Best Actor for playing an HIV-positive lawyer in Philadelphia; when Bruce Davison was nominated for playing a gay, HIV-positive man who soothes his dying lover in Longtime Companion; when the magnificent Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt was named Best Documentary; and when Elizabeth Taylor delivered a legendary call to arms upon winning the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. But every year, activists awake to the same, post-show hangover—and start dreaming of next year.

There was, briefly, a sign of hope last evening. For instance: Just what was Best Actress nominee Julie Christie wearing on her daringly calf-length dress? Her brooch looked suspiciously like a red ribbon. And as the camera kept panning to Christie in the audience before her category was announced, the possibility mounted that, if she won, she might somehow work AIDS into her acceptance speech. (Though it seemed more likely that she’d mention Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that afflicted the character she played in her nominated role.)

But she didn’t win—and, it turns out, the ribbon (which was deceptively orange) symbolized another cause, as ribbons often do these days. To the disappointment of red-carpet bloggers who’d hastily concluded “Hey, that’s an AIDS ribbon—haven’t seen one of those in a while” or “Julie Christie made the first political statement of the evening with an AIDS ribbon,” she told a reporter: “[The ribbon represents] the American Civil Liberties Union campaign to close Guantanamo [Bay], so it’s a very, very important issue... It’s affecting the whole world.” She was referring to the Cuban prison camp the U.S. opened in 2002—as was, we can only guess, Alex Gibney, who wore a similar ribbon when accepting his award for Best Documentary. But at the Oscars these days, accidental AIDS activism may have to do.

This is not to suggest that those who care deeply about AIDS believe that their cause is the only one worth noting. Last year’s Al Gore-colored Oscars, for instance, were decidedly green. But seeing all the Diet Coke ads last night for cardiovascular empowerment, one couldn’t help but wonder: How can p.r.-starved AIDS activists reclaim their color from a can of artificially sweetened soda?

All the more reason, then, to cheer another Oscar also-ran film, Sari’s Mother, a 21-minute film about HIV in wartime Iraq nominated last night as best documentary short. Based on a riveting article that appeared in the October 2003 issue of POZ, it traces an Iraqi mother’s efforts to care for her HIV-positive son amid that country’s crumbling health care system. (The film lost to an equally riveting tale, Freehold, which traces the efforts of a dying lesbian police officer to obtain benefits for her partner.) But what could have been a victory, even in loss, was prevented when the telecast’s producers chose to omit any mention of the film’s content. To viewers who felt mugged by the Oscar show’s length, our suggestion that the program mention each of these worthy plotlines may seem as crazy as Sweeney Todd himself. But, hey, it’s not every day a POZ story—or any story about an HIV-positive person—makes it to the Oscars.


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Show comments (1 total)

 
[Go to top]

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

HIV 101
HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ TV
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Women
African American
Latino
Providers
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    adorableone
    New York
    New York


    Sin_Grinder
    Reno
    Nevada


    hollywoodvers1
    Los Angeles
    California


    daino1972
    Columbus
    Ohio
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Can social media help stop HIV stigma?
Yes
No

Survey
Mind Matters

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]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.