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Summary of movie: And the Band Played On


"And the Band Played On" is a 1993 film that chronicles the early days of AIDS. Like the movie "Philadelphia" (1993), portrays the prejudice suffered by homosexuals by society seeing as guilty of this new disease. But this film does not remain only on observation of prejudice. It addresses other issues that influence the loss of control of AIDS.

The film addresses the vision of Dr. Don who fought Ebola fever and has now been called to investigate a new disease, which had no symptoms themselves, but had opportunistic infections in healthy people did not cause death. What is known is that this disease was destroying the entire immune system and that in their view only initially contaminated homosexuals.


Don encounters difficulties in their work, because not getting federal support. He needed a microscope to $ 190,000 and no money, his quest for knowledge of the disease was difficult. A scene showing the film, which is intended to demonstrate how the government was concerned with health, is when the president approves the budget which reduced the money allocated to public health and raising the money for the Department of Defense.

Although there was taxing "gay disease" or "gay cancer," which further aggravated the state of people who have suffered discrimination by sexual orientation, it had a small grain of truth. Not because they are homosexuals, but by the type of relationship that would adopt one of these. Saunas in San Francisco were used for homosexual encounters and these facilitated the rapid spread of the disease. The most viable solution would be to close all the saunas in the city, however, claim that financial interests and the advancement of the entire class homosexual would be lost, prevented this measure was made.

During the investigation, Don and CDC staff have strong evidence that AIDS could be transmitted not only through sex between homosexuals, due to the presence of the disease among heterosexuals in hemophiliacs and babies. They created the idea that the disease could be transmitted by blood transfusion. Although they could not scientifically prove, had practical evidence that the contaminated blood transmitted disease. In a meeting with industry people's blood (04/01/1983), the CDC has proposed a survey conducted for the detection of infected blood (with 88% efficiency). However, representatives of industries with blood, said there was no reason to spend millions for the fact that some hemophiliacs were infected and because it has not been found any infectious agent in the blood. Once again the pursuit of money, prevented any action being taken. At this meeting it was also decided that the disease had its name changed from "Immunodeficiency homosexual" for "Acquired Immune Deficiency", since not only homosexuals have it.

The final part of the film focuses on the struggle of scientists for discovering the AIDS virus, with charges of indecent practices by the American scientist Robert Gallo.


AIDS since its first known victims in the 70 shows as an aggressive disease and deserved more attention from the authorities. In Brazil, the Ministry of Health (1985) Carlos Sant'Anna, in an interview to Veja magazine said: "It is a disease of concern, but not a priority." However, it was only a concern with 384 cases and 181 deaths, began 2009 with about 630 000 infected and more than 217 000 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health This number is not even stronger because of programs to combat and prevention, with so-called "cocktails" and condoms, all currently in Brazil, free.

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Demystifying around homosexuality was something that also occurred. Since 2003, every 45 cases, 20 were from infected women and 25 men, not necessarily homosexuals.

One of the lessons left by the movie is not to underestimate the diseases that are smaller, because at some point they can get out of control. AIDS should be an example to public services, so that when other diseases likely to emerge, these are addressed quickly and appropriate.

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Manuvegeta (author) from Brazil on December 14, 2010:


m1tchm on December 13, 2010:

What a great movie... such a great cast. Nice write-up!

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