Monday, March 12, 2007

Life Support

Life Support is a story about a former cocaine addict who is also HIV positive who is trying to reach out to the community so they don't repeat mistakes she made and have to learn the hard way. She hands out condoms and literature whenever she meets someone who she thinks may be living dangerously.

In a way this is a coming of age story.
Though you never see Anna Wallace as a young person, you get the impression she must have been passionate and driven about whatever her heart was set on doing. In her youth, that may have been cocaine, now it is motherhood and activism. Whereas in youth her abundant energy worked destructively, the combination of age and a losing battle with the AIDS virus helped channeling it positively.

She is a devoted mother to her second child and tries very hard to make amends with her first born whose custody she lost due to her drug addiction. The new Anna is nothing like the old Anna but family and friends who knew the person she once was are unwilling or unable to make peace with her past and make room in their hearts for the present. Her struggle with to regain trust and respect from her immediate family is no less painful than her fight against the disease itself.

One of the most poignant scenes from the movie has the support group standing on the rooftop of a high-rise in Brooklyn floating red balloons to commemorate everyone they have lost to AIDs. Anna's oldest daughter Kelly and mother are there too to remember Kelly's friend Amare. It takes the death of a loved one brings the Anna closer to her family and for her to be able to love and let go at the same time as she must with Kelly who has decided to move to Virginia with her grandmother.

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