History was always a favorite subject of ours, even when the topic wasn’t pleasant.
But it’s important to pay attention to our past to keep from repeating mistakes. That’s why we urge each of you reading this to get a ticket to Dallas Buyers Club, a compelling film that’s as sobering as it is inspirational.
Many of us weren’t old enough to appreciate the enormity of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, so it’s hard to understand first-hand how devastating it was to our community.
In this film, Matthew McConaughey stars as a real-life (heterosexual) rodeo cowboy named Ron Woodroof, whose sex-filled lifestyle led him to an HIV-positive diagnosis and a 30-day expiration date. Shunned by his friends and unable to access potentially life-saving drugs because of FDA trials and other bureaucratic hurdles, he tracks down alternative therapies and organizes a buyers club to skirt around laws and get HIV-positive individuals the treatment they needed. And deserved.
Joined by a new group of unlikely friends, including Rayon, a transgender woman portrayed by Jared Leto (above), Woodruff defies all odds and far outlives his prognosis, changing the lives of hundreds along with his.
Both McConaughey and Leto’s performances are mesmerizing in their rawness. Infusing the characters with doses of humor, humanity, and even selfishness, they come across as real, flawed human beings. We go into films like these knowing the eventual outcome, but the struggles of these characters is so believable that we can’t help but root for a happier ending.
But that would be revisionist history, the most dangerous of all.
Dallas Buyers Club
Opens today in select theaters