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July 23, 2018 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

The Normal Heart

If anyone is wanting to subject themselves to an intense amount of emotional anguish this week, then I’d suggest watching Ryan Murphy’s film, The Normal Heart.
Set in 1980’s New York, the film follows the founding of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, as volunteers try to spread awareness of the AIDs crisis. Based on Larry Kramer’s 1985 semi-autobiographical play, the characters are forced to deal with the fatalities from the virus, as well as the majority’s stigmatisation and discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
Mark Ruffalo delivers a powerful performance as openly gay activist, Ned Weeks (based on Larry Kramer himself), as he relentlessly fights for the government’s assistance in acknowledging the presence of the virus, and in finding funding for prevention and treatment. The film is informative in displaying the historical impact of HIV, and brutally honest in portraying not only the effects on the patients themselves, but the friends and family around them. Scenes showing the lack of support from the public and lack of action from the government are infuriating to watch, as the volunteers are subjected to the heartbreaking realisation that the majority’s prejudice towards the gay community is prevalent enough to turn a blind eye to the epidemic.

Despite its bleak content, the film has its moments of tenderness, acting as a reminder of the importance of being able to love each other during times of hardship. The conviction of the volunteers does not falter because they have hope for a future where they and their loved ones will be able to love each other in an open and safe environment.


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