viernes, enero 24, 2014

The Cowboy Who Learned That AIDS Is Not A Queer Thing



For about four years now, I’ve been a member of Vitanovus, a local group who provides counseling, information, rapid HIV tests, medical reference and general support to people diagnosed with HIV, as well as their partners, relatives, friends, etc. I’ve learned so much about the pandemia thanks to this group, especially by means of the translations that I’ve done for the bulletin.
Vitanovus members meet every two weeks to attend interesting lectures and talks imparted by psychologists, physicians, noted community members, and HIV-AIDS activists, as well as people who have lived with the virus for decades. They are invited to share their experience and give valuable advice to those who have been just diagnosed.
But not all is serious talks -- sometimes it’s movie time. And the movie that we saw yesterday was Dallas Buyers Club, based on a true story and featuring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner. What a great film, indeed. Set in the 80’s, it tells the story of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic electrician who only cares for rodeos, booze, casual, unprotected sex with women, and drugs. He lives the moment and doesn’t seem to have a plan for the future.
Ron doesn’t look very well. He’s remarkably thin, looks tired, and coughs a lot. One day at the rodeo he organizes a bet and collects the money from his friends, then runs away with the angry cowboys close behind. There’s a fight and his policeman friend unwillingly rescues him and takes him home. Once inside he starts to feel dizzier and dizzier, passes out and falls to the floor.
The next day there’s an accident at his job, he runs to cut the power and somehow he passes out again. The doctors run tests at the hospital and tell him rather bluntly that he tested HIV positive, is in AIDS phase and has no more than 30 days of life.
He’s baffled, speechless, but Ron Woodroof won’t accept that life sentence. Literal.
What I loved about the movie was his courage and determination to live, his sudden urge of learning all about that enemy that threatens his existence, in order to keep it at bay and hopefully conquer it. In the process, he gets rich, travels, takes a better care of himself, and learns that HIV-AIDS is not exclusive of gay people and, as an almost inevitable consequence of this, he learns to be tolerant. I just loved the film.

8 comentarios:

  1. Shiales no entiendo todo... eso si quiero ver la peli, promete, aunque no se si el tema me altere las animosidades, lo cierto es que creo que hay historias vivificantes que atudan a combatir los estupidos prejuicios.

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    1. Hola Àlvaro, gracias por tu visita. A la derecha del título del post hay un botón para seleccionar el idioma... la traducción al español es más o menos aceptable.
      Por otro lado, te gustará mucho la película, a mí hace mucho tiempo que no me atrapaba tanto un film, no tiene desperdicio. Me gustó mucho como el protagonista cambia de ser absolutamente homofóbico a "gay-friendly", o al menos "gay-tolerant". Y no es para menos, estando ante un diagnóstico como el VIH, es comprensible que una persona se empiece a cuestionar todas sus creencias y filosofía.

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  2. Good movie, good learning, best lesson ...

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  3. Thank you for what you are doing. Henri Nouwen pointed out that we should see others as being thirsty souls to whom we have the priviliege to offer the water of our love.

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    1. What a beautiful quote, Steve. I'm very proud to be a part of Vitanovus and have the privilege to help.

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  4. Hola Tino!

    Kudos to you for your volunteer work with Vitanovus. It sounds like a terrific cause, and I admire you for putting in the time and effort.

    I saw Dallas Buyers Club a few months ago, and thought it was a great movie on so many levels. The transformation that Woodruff's character undergoes is nothing short of complete, changing from completely self-absorbed asshole to someone who has found compassion and a cause. And of course it had plenty of funny moments, and moments of high drama, like when the FDA was going to destroy everything. DBC was one of the few movies which made me want to stand up and applaud when it was over.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA

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  5. Thank you for your words, I feel so complete participating. And it's strange but I also felt compelled to stand up and applaud at the end... I laughed so much with the funny moments, like all the names he called Raymond, especially "Miss Man". I also felt so moved when Raymond gets in so much trouble to ask his father money for the cause, and later when he died and Woodroof stormed in the hospital, all furious and wanting to kill the doctor. Superb movie. Te mando un abrazo.

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