Watch And the Band Played On
- 2 hr 21 min
This film is a 1993 American docudrama of considerable contemporary interest. It is directed by Roger Spottiswoode and based on the 1987 best-selling non-fiction book by Randy Shilts. In 1976, an American epidemiologiost played by Matthew Modine is at the Ebola River in Zaire. He discovers that many of the residents of a village have died from Ebola hemorrhagic fever and assists in their horrorific cremations. It is his first experience with an epidemic. Upon returning to the United States, Modine begins working at the Center for Disease Control and is called upon to investigate a new disorder affecting gay men in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. All that was known about the disease was that it destroyed the human immune system. It was thought to affect only homosexual males. Modine learns that the disease is not limited to gay males, but affects hetrosexuals, hemophiliacs and babies too. His attempts to enlighten the band that consists of the scientific, medical and political communities. His work reveals jealousy and infighting within and between them, while he encounters considerable resistance from them. In the interim, AIDS related infections and deaths continue to increase at a ghastly pace while the band played on.