Re: Autobiographical Films -- AIDS

Appalshop (
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 08:42:49 EST

Thanks to Mary Kirby for recommending "Belinda."

A description of the video follows:

Directed by Anne Johnson
Color, 29:30 minutes, 1992
Video 1/2" / 3/4"
Video Rental 1/2"

"To the extent that I've made a contribution, it's been to have people realize
that AIDS is about all of us. It's not really about gay white men or IV drug
users or babies. It's not about certain groups. It's about all of us, really,
and it always was." Belinda Mason

A native of eastern Kentucky, Belinda Mason was, as she says, "a small town
journalist, a young mother, a reliable Tupperware party guest" until she
became infected with the HIV virus in 1987. She decided to go public with her
condition and spent the rest of her life as a powerful advocate for AIDS
prevention, education, treatment, and human rights.
In this program, Belinda talks about her own experiences dealing with AIDS
and the support she found within her rural community: "AIDS is less about
dying than about choosing how to live." Included is a presentation she made
with her pastor to members of the Southern Baptist Convention: "People ask me
if I think AIDS is a punishment from God. I can't pretend to fathom what God
is thinking, but maybe we should look at AIDS as a test, not for the people
who are infected, but for the rest of us." Belinda also comments on her role
and responsibilties as a national spokesperson for people with AIDS, saying
"One Bush Administration insider, when asked to explain the President's
decision to bestow a coveted seat on the National Commission on AIDS on me,
observed that I was 'palatable' like mashed potatoes and gravy." Funny, down
to earth, and never self pitying, Belinda speaks with a moving eloquence of
our need for a collective response to AIDS which is not crippled by racism,
homophobia, fear or ignorance.

"Belinda Mason's warmth, wisdom, and determination has provided us with a
legacy that should inspire us for decades to come. One of the many powerful
insights she left us was that, in contrast to excessive and unreasonable fear
of HIV, we should all be worried about losing our humanity by failing to
respond, for, as Belinda said, 'In all of human history, there has never been
a cure for that.'" Dr. June Osborn, Chairperson, National Commission on

"Belinda the AIDS activist, Belinda the healer, Belinda the talker, Belinda
the narrator of this program, invites people to be open and unafraid and then
demands, in her undemanding way, that they do the right thing." Kate Black,
AIDS activist, Lexington, Kentucky

"...indelibly portrays an inspiring role model whose priorities influenced how
she lived and helped others..." Booklist

"Belinda" is a film of extraordinary grace...not about persons with AIDS, it
is fundamentally about what it means to be human and what it takes for a
society and a church to remain human." Malcolm Warford, President/Bangor
Theological Seminary

"...Anne Lewis has produced her most powerful and important documentary yet.
"Belinda" speaks eloquently for a generation of HIV infected people. We teach
listening to the patient's perspective, but this film teaches us much more
about the life choices we all face and make. It is wonderfully sensitizing to
the human condition." John Standridge, M.D.

"This remarkable woman's witness...challenges all of us who would live a faith
that counts for something." The Religious Public Relations Council/Wilbur

Festivals & Screenings

American Journal of Nursing Media Festival '94 - Screening
American Psychiatric Association Screening
Atlanta Film & Video Festival Best Aids Advocacy Video
Assoc of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses Conference Screening
Athens International Film & Video Festival Screening
Atlanta Film & Video Festival Screening
Big Muddy Film Festival Honorable Mention
Brazen Images - Screening
Charlotte Film & Video Festival Screening
Council on International Nontheatrical Events CINE Golden Eagle Award
EarthPeace International Film Festival Screening "Living in the Moment:
Confronting Mortality" Winner/Mayor's EarthPeace Film Award & part of the
EarthPeace National Tour 93
Hiroshima Film Festival Screening
International Health & Medical Film Festival Finalist
Kentucky Foundation for Women Celebration '94 - Screening at Eagle Gallery,
Murray State University
Louisville Film & Video Festival Merit Award
National Council on Family Relations Runner UP Category STD/AIDS (Winner
Media Awards Competition)
National Educational Film & Video Festival Bronze Apple/Health Crises:Aids
National Women's Studies Association National Conference Film Series '94 -
The New York Festivals '93 - Finalist Award
Peace & Justice Activists, National Organizers Alliance 96 - Screening
Religious Public Relations Council Wilbur Award
San Francisco International Film Festival Screening
Santa Barbara Film Festival Screening
SECA National Broadcast 96
U.S.A. Film Festival Screening
University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health Screening
VISN/Visions Interfaith Network '94 - Broadcast
Western Psychological Association Screening
Women's Caucus for Art 1994 National Convention Screening
Women's Film & Video Festival Screening
Women in Film International Film Festival Screening
Women in the Director's Chair Showing
Intended Audience: Jr. High, High, College, Adult
To order or for more information call or write:
APPALSHOP FILMS/306 Madison Street/Whitesburg, KY 41858
FAX (606) 633 1009/Toll Free 800 545 7467 e-mail: