Film Critique Paper And the Band Played On The movie is about the first couple years of AIDS, mostly in the United States. It tells the political as well as the scientific struggle that occurred with the discovery of AIDS. The main character Dr. Don Francis heads the research of AIDS with little money and little help. This was because AIDS was considered the “gay man’s disease” and there was more emphasis on who discovered the disease than actually helping those who had it. Basically, the movie was about the government and many other individuals being ignorant and looking the other way because homosexual males were seen as a lesser priority and group. As to the question of what long-term effect did prejudice and discrimination toward homosexuality have upon contemporary American life? I believe the film showed that there was a typical acceptable hostility towards homosexual males. This was not exhibited only by the vast majority but by the government as well when they refuse to give money because the research of AIDS was not a priority. There was also an effect on the homosexual population itself. The homosexual group were unwilling to put their “sexual revolution” on hold and close the bathhouses. As a result of the long-term prejudice and discrimination, they were categorized as their own lesser group. There are many instances of institutionalized discrimination in the movie And the Band Played On. A brief definition of institutionalized discrimination is unfair, indirect treatment of an individual or group by large organizations such as governments or corporations. Bill Kraus in one of the opening scenes, is discussing the discrimination of homosexuals by the government. He said that they were not looking for any special privileges or legal protections. What he asked of the committee and the Democratic Party is to recognize that they as a group were humans. This scene showed that they knew that the government was discriminating against them and all they aspired for was to be given the same rights as everyone else. The most obvious form of institutionalized discrimination was government’s unwillingness to get involved in the research of AIDS when it was first discovered. The government ignored the medical crisis and refused to give money or support because it was only effecting the homosexual group. Politicians and individuals high up in the government did not want anything do with it since it was considered a gay disease. The direct result of the ignorance of so many individuals caused many more people to get the disease. A scene in the movie depicting this was when the word homosexual was crossed out of the newsletter when it discussed the disease. There are even scenes that talked about the institutionalized discrimination that was happening. Dr. Conant was asking why he has not seen anything about the disease on the news or in any newspaper even though the cases had been piling up all over the country. After that, he asks if Washington knew about it and is doing anything about it.
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