Daily News header

All of Us Film Review

By Kam Williams

HIV+ Documentary Explores Alarming Infection Rate among Black Females

Despite being born in Ethiopia and the pedigree of undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard, Mehret Mandefro followed a surprising calling to work among the poor in the South Bronx. The young physician wanted to find an explanation for the Center for Disease Control's statistics which revealed that African-American women account for 68% of new HIV infections among females when they're only about 7% of that demographic.

What factors could possibly explain the skyrocketing AIDS rate? Was it simply a case of education alone, or could some social factors be responsible as well? Immersing herself in inner-city culture, and interviewing her patients and their loved ones at length, Dr. Mandefro made several surprising discoveries, particularly that power, domination and control appear to play a crucial role in the transmission of the virus.


For instance, she learned that many of the AIDS victims under her care were well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex, yet they still succumbed to pressure of men, usually older, to mate without condoms. An added complication, she discovered, is the high incarceration of black males, about 11% of them between 20 and 39.

After all, prison is a place where homosexuality and rape are commonplace, therefore many inmates re-enter society already HIV+. Thus, Dr. Mandefro draws the conclusion that ex-cons are the biggest cause of the spread of AIDS in the African-American community.

Besides making these general observations, All of Us offers an intimate look into the lives of three people: Dr. Mandefro, herself, and a couple of her AIDS patients. By allowing the camera to follow them around, Tara and Chevelle put a face on HIV and offer the uninformed an opportunity to see what living with the disease is like day-to-day.

Unfortunately, one of them died before the release of the movie, but I dare not spoil which one doesn't make it. This poignant picture periodically zooms in on Mehret's personal life after hours, too, intimate interludes that show the otherwise stoic doctor's vulnerable side. Three cheers to director Emily Apt for making such a sobering, informative and emotionally-engaging full-length feature debut.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 82 minutes
Studio: Pureland Pictures

To see a trailer for All of Us,

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer Kam Williams says the film. The Calling is tarnished slightly by periodic displays of grisly crime scenes apt to upset audience members averse to gratuitous gore.
Jeff Bridges eulogy for Robin Williams, plus James Scully reading at a Santa Cruz cafe, introduced by Adrienne Rich. Chris Butters reports.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams shares this week's Week's DVD Releases. Some of the titles are 'The Empty Hours', 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and 'Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fourth Season'.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams shares his Top Ten DVD List for the week of August 12, 2014
Kam Williams reviews If I Stay, in which a bright 17 year-old cello-playing girl full of the bloom of youth is irreversibly altered by a head-on crash
A conversation with Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock about his new television series. And related thoughts on greed, gluttony, Hitchcock, Creep Show, Lonesome Rhodes, participatory journalism, homelessness, couch surfing

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site