×

Pandemic: Facing AIDS

There is no shortage of fear and heartache in HBO's candid docu series "Pandemic: Facing AIDS." Director Rory Kennedy's frank look at individuals around the world who have contracted the disease eschews politics and agendas while focusing strictly on the victims, their deterioration and, considering the countries she visits, their lack of any socialized, significant care whatsoever.

With:
Narrator: Elton John.

There is no shortage of fear and heartache in HBO’s candid docu series “Pandemic: Facing AIDS.” Director Rory Kennedy’s frank look at individuals around the world who have contracted the disease eschews politics and agendas while focusing strictly on the victims, their deterioration and, considering the countries she visits, their lack of any socialized, significant care whatsoever.

Whereas many AIDS projects often go out of their way to include hope and spirit, the five-part “Pandemic,” narrated by Elton John, is comparatively depressing on all accounts at all times. There are touching moments — a woman returns home from a hospice to see her family one last time, a Ugandan couple gets tested and results come back negative — but cabler’s latest Sunday entry is wholly difficult and devastating to view.

First hour has two episodes; in Thailand, where the sex trade flourishes and where for years the government denied there was a health crisis, ex-prostitute Lek is spending her last few weeks in a monastery while literally holding on to old photos she has saved. Now among others who are trying to die in peace, she makes one last trek in order to say goodbye to her mother, father and son.

Second half-hour travels to Uganda, where an orphanage is overflowing with poor children whose parents have died. Most poignant scene comes when their overworked teacher leads them in an AIDS anthem that easily brings out everybody’s tears.

Kennedy doesn’t utilize any distinctive techniques, but the subject matter is handled with utmost sensitivity, and her message hits home with authority: The problem is truly global and tragedy knows no limits. (Future nights spotlight Russia, India and Brazil.) Co-funded by Bill Gates’ philanthropic foundation, “Pandemic” features a haunting original score by Philip Glass.

Pandemic: Facing AIDS

Production: Filmed in various locations by Moxie Firecracker Films, HBO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Producers, Rory Kennedy, Liz Garbus; director, Kennedy; writer, Mark Bailey.

Crew: Camera, Nick Doob; Tom Hurwitz; editor, Kate Amend; music, Philip Glass, Miriam Cutler. 30 MIN.

Cast: Narrator: Elton John.

More TV

  • Roberto Gomez Bolanos Mexican actor Roberto

    Chespirito Media Universe in Development from Grupo Chespirito, Thr3 Media Group

    Mexican production companies Grupo Chespirito and Thr3 Media Group have come to terms on a deal to co-produce multi-media content and create the Chespirito Media Universe based on the characters and world of Mexico and Latin America’s most iconic TV creator, director, producer and actor, Chespirito. Thr3 Media Group was launched in January 2018 by [...]

  • Bastian-and-Fabienne_2btube-Office-1

    2btube Adds Lacoproductora to Facebook, YouTube Originals Alliances

    CANNES —  Fast-driving from a huge digital media publishing base into the creation and production of premium content for global platforms and beyond, top Spanish-language digital native media group 2btube has clinched a wide-ranging production partnership with José Miguel Contreras’ Madrid-based Lacoproductora. The deal comes fast on the heels of 2btube’s production alliance with Facebook [...]

  • LA-CHICA-QUE-LIMPIA-PICTURE

    Spain's Fasten Films Nabs Remake Rights to Argentine Series 'The Cleaning Lady' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Barcelona-based company Fasten Films has optioned Spanish and Portuguese adaptation rights to Argentine suspense series “La chica que limpia” (“The Cleaning Lady”). The deal was negotiated with Argentine distributors RM Vistar and GlowStar, who jointly handle the format’s international sales. A Mexican remake of the series is being produced by Turner Latin America, alongside BTF [...]

  • Motiv: Max ConzeFoto: © ProSiebenSat.1/Martin SaumweberDieses

    ProSiebenSat.1 Boss Max Conze Unfazed By the Invasion of the Digital Streaming Giants

    Max Conze, CEO of German broadcast company ProSiebenSat.1 since June last year, appeared relatively relaxed about the prospect of the coming invasion of new digital players like Disney Plus into his territory when speaking to journalists at TV market and conference Mipcom in Cannes Tuesday. “Disney Plus will not lock away all their content,” he [...]

  • Irmaos Freitas

    Amazon Prime Video takes Turner’s ‘Freitas Brothers’

    CANNES — In yet another – and significant – Latin America distribution deal for the now highly active OTT giant, Amazon Prime Video has acquired Brazilian and pan-Spanish-speaking Latin American SVOD rights to Turner Latin America’s highly anticipated “Freitas Brothers.” The announcement was made late Tuesday by Turner Latin America at Cannes Mipcom TV and [...]

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker,

    Nonsense Ellen DeGeneres Question Derails an Otherwise Substantive Democratic Debate (Column)

    The fourth Democratic debate was dangerously close to being substantive. For almost three (3!) hours, the twelve (12!) candidates onstage tackled questions on foreign policy, reproductive rights, health care, gun control, big tech, and the opioid crisis. While the other debates — and indeed, the entire 2016 presidential campaign — have been marked by meme-able [...]

  • Pictured (l-r): Doug Jones as Lieutenant

    Mipcom Roundup: E4 Buys 'Star Trek: Discovery'; All3Media Sells Drama Package

    In Variety’s fourth Mipcom roundup, E4 buys U.K. linear rights to “Star Trek: Discovery,” All3Media sells drama package to Pickbox Now, African broadcasters buy 800 hours of content from BBC Studios, France’s Serieclub acquires offbeat Norwegian comedy, ZDF and Red Balloon team for young adult book adaptation, and Viacom and Youku partner on kids’ animation. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content