CANNES, France (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore said her experience caring for someone infected with the AIDS virus spurred her decision to help promote the documentary "5B" on unsung heroes who treated AIDS patients in the 80s.
72nd Cannes Film Festival – Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France, May 16, 2019. Julianne Moore poses before the screening of the film "5B". REUTERS / Jean-Paul Pelissier
The film, shown during the first week of the Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of Ward 5B at the San Francisco General Hospital, the first specialist treatment unit for people with HIV / AIDS in the United States.
In an interview with Reuters in Cannes, Moore, 58, said he had lost a friend to the virus immediately after graduation.
"It was the end of 1984 and he was a friend who had gone to Mexico, and everyone said he had taken the influence – and he died two weeks later and I was shocked," Moore said.
Later, the actress, whose best-known films include "Magnolia" and "The Hours", came to help cure an AIDS patient in a New York hospital, where friends and family could come in to look after patients.
"In 1985 many people I knew were sick … and at 88 I took care of someone in a department … I saw this movie and I was so incredibly moved," he said.
The film explores the way in which nurses who have seen an increase in patients with the condition have decided to establish a treatment center, dismayed by the lack of humanity, many have been shown at that time.
Cliff Harrison – one of the driving forces behind the treatment center where the staff ignored the ideas of clinical detachment and had physical contact with patients – said the fear of the epidemic and the suspicion on how it spread it was one of the obstacles that carers had to face.
"Suddenly I found myself at a cocktail party and someone asked me what I did and everyone just opened up," Harrison told Reuters, while talking about the movie with Moore.
Dan Krauss, who co-directed the film with Paul Haggis, said "5B" had a message for today's viewers.
"It is about compassion and about dignity and about respect," Krauss said.
"If we can inject it into the national conversation in the United States and elsewhere, I think we will have achieved something necessary right now," he said.
Every year, movie stars, models and super-rich people take part in an important HIV-AIDS fundraising event during the Cannes Film Festival, the AmfAR dinner, organized by the AIDS Research Foundation.
The event of this year of May 23 comes after an HIV-positive man in Britain became the second adult known worldwide to be freed from the AIDS virus, according to his doctors, after having received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor.
Written by Sarah White; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky
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