HBO’s “The Normal Heart” Visits The Start Of The AIDS Crisis

Jessica Wakeman / April 18, 2014

As a child of the ’90s who learned about HIV in elementary school (from a puppet, I believe), sometimes it’s difficult to imagine a world where HIV/AIDS was so misunderstood. There was once a time when people used the word “quarantine” when talking about this public health crisis. And it’s painful to remember that in my own lifetime, gay men and women — in New York City, of all places — were deeply in the closet because they feared for their lives. HBO has released its trailer for “The Normal Heart,” the Ryan Murphy-directed film based on the play by Larry Kramer, which tells the story of an activist (Mark Ruffalo) and a doctor (Julia Roberts) from 1981 until 1984 as they try to draw attention to a mysterious disease in New York City that seems to be targeting gay men. While the government ignores them — because who cares about gay men? — lives are being lost. The film debuts on May 25th on HBO. I’ll be watching. [YouTube]