World AIDS Day

Today, 64% of Americans with HIV/AIDS are not on medications. Countless others around the world are without medical support. The Last One is an aptly named documentary film by Nadine Licostie that screened at the #Level Ground NYC Road Show last month. The film premieres today on Showtime Networks to mark World AIDS Day.

In honor of World AIDS Day, please check out our take on the film, watch it for yourself, and share it with a friend.

In the documentary The Last One: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt, Director Nadine C. Licostie shows how difficult it is to respond to questions like “What is AIDS?” with one-dimensional answers.

The film follows the history of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a decades-long international project composed of stitched sections, each memorializing an individual who lost their life to AIDS. The quilt, which started in 1987, currently has more than 48,000 3-by-6 foot memorial panels. It is, as described by one subject in the film, the world’s “largest mobile cemetery.”

The quilt is not monotone, and the colors and contours of this piece of art are a powerful symbol of the complexity of the devastating impact AIDS has had on people around the world.

The film raises a myriad of tough questions. How can communities stay intact in the midst of a pandemic? How does fear shape the way we treat other people? What is the loving response in the midst of physical and emotional suffering?

The Last One offers glimpses of hope, both by looking to the inspiring efforts of the past and the continued work taking place in the present to fight this disease and the stigmas associated with it.