Synopsis by Mark Deming
While the AIDS epidemic began to gradually subside in the West in the 1990s, it tragically exploded in many other parts of the world. At the dawn of the 21st century, the village of Wenlou in the Henan province of central China was especially hard hit, with 60 percent of its people testing positive for the HIV virus, largely due to faulty preventative measures taken during government-directed blood drives. Chinese documentary filmmaker Weijun Chen spent a year living with a family in Wenlou who were struggling with the onslaught of the disease -- only one member of the household had been spared from HIV -- and To Live Is Better Than to Die is a document not only of their battle with AIDS, but also their resolve to make the most of their lives, no matter what has cut them short.
AIDS, China, courage, family-illness, HIV, rurality, struggle, village