Monday, December 23, 2019

Wolfe's 5B Documentary To Be Released On DVD On Mar. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that the documentary filmmaking team of Dan Krauss and Oscar-winner Paul Haggis’ (his first non-fiction film) insightful look at the history of the first AIDS care unit, 5B, will be available on DVD on Mar. 10.

The ARR is a leisurely 270 days and the film’s limited arthouse box office take currently stands at $72,968.

5B, made the festival rounds, including the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, had a brief arthouse theatrical in mid-June and then went back out on the festival circuit.   Unless you were near one of the major metro screenings or happened upon one of the festival screenings, 5B is likely an unseen entity for most … Wolfe to the rescue with a DVD push in the New Year.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIt is an interesting dynamic — and very effective — teaming a two-time Oscar nominee for his documentary work, Dan Krauss (Extremis, The Life of Kevin Carter) with an Oscar-winning filmmaker for his dramatic storytelling (Oscar winner for his Crash script and as producer of the film, he shared the Oscar with Cathy Schulman for Best Picture).

The film is not a deep dive into the early days of the first AIDS ward in the United States — Ward 5B (hence the title) at San Francisco General Hospital — but a look back down the long corridor of time.   The early days are presented in quick order and then the film shifts to the present day and a series of decisive interviews with those who live through the hellish days when there was no cure; no treatment, just compassion as people came to die.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAmong those who talk about their experiences is Cliff Morrison, a nurse on Ward 5B, who saw the need and convinced others at San Francisco General to open a kind and welcoming place for victims of the disease to find a safe harbor.   Others sharing their memories are fellow nurse Alison Moed and singer Rita Rockett who raised money for the suffering and for her efforts was vilified.

Wolfe’s 5B DVD release on Mar. 10 is well-worth a viewing.   A reminder that a “Gay Disease” became a viral pandemic that touched all segments of society … so much time was lost and wasted by stigmatizing HIV and not looking for ways to fight it.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

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