When a struggling writer, HIV positive for 20+ years, accidentally deposits a $100 birthday check, he is dropped from his health plan for earning too much. In this new era of sort-of ...
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When a struggling writer, HIV positive for 20+ years, accidentally deposits a $100 birthday check, he is dropped from his health plan for earning too much. In this new era of sort-of universal care, can he take on a helpless bureaucracy or come up with $3000 a month to buy meds on his own?
Powerful film about being down and out and HIV positive
Pushing Dead (2016) was written and directed by Tom E. Brown. Believe it or not, this is a funny film about a not-funny situation. Dan (James Roday) has been HIV positive for over 20 years. His life is attuned to the beeping of his wristwatch. He takes his HIV medication ritually, because he needs to take the right meds at the right time to stay healthy.
Suddenly, his supply of medications is interrupted, and he may be forced to go without meds for three weeks. Going without HIV medication isn't the same as going without medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It could be the tipping point at which HIV-positive status turns into AIDS.
How Dan copes with that serious situation, and also how he goes on with his daily life, constitute the plot of the movie. Roday is an excellent actor, and you believe that this is a true life crisis.
Three great supporting actors help the movie succeed: Robin Weigert as Dan's roommate, Paula; Danny Glover as his boss, Bob; and Khandi Alexander as Bob's wife, Dot. I was surprised to see Danny Glover as a supporting actor in a small, independent film. My guess is that he liked the role, and wanted to remind us of what a truly great actor he is.
We saw this film at the excellent Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum, as part of the wonderful ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will also work well on the small screen.
Pushing Dead is one of 22 films that had their New York State premiere, or their East Çoast premiere at ImageOut. My compliments to the ImageOut Programming Committee for their great success in bringing these films to Rochester.
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