By: Kris Schneider
On World AIDS Day, Monday, December 1, 2014 at 7pm, The Caldron will hold a screening of the documentary “deepsouth” in the James Caldwell High School Center for Performing Arts open to JCHS students and faculty. The film, created by first-time director Lisa Biagiotti, tells the previously untold story of HIV/AIDS in the United States, specifically the South, where nearly 40 percent of the American population lives. The film covers the societal issues facing HIV/AIDS patients in the South, many of whom do not seek treatment at all, and are treated as second class citizens by society.
The filmmaker drove a total of over 13,000 miles on her quest to get the real personal stories of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the South over the course of two and a half years. Ms. Lisa Biagiotti, an independent filmmaker, funded a great deal of the project with personal funds. In her own words, “This is the story of HIV without the activist movement. It is a story of a widespread system failure. It is not new, nor is it being addressed. And it is not getting better. Federal and state governments ignore the issue. Local organizations fight (each other) for non-existent funds. All around, there is a deficit of imagination and will.”
The goal of the film is to raise a great deal of awareness about the issue of HIV/AIDS in the South, and the documentary is not just targeting the deniers of the issue; “deepsouth” is also targeting the uneducated and ignorant. But not necessarily those ignorant by choice. Just as the government has fell short on dealing with the issue, the mainstream media has fell short on covering the epidemic.
“deepsouth” is critically acclaimed by many organizations, including The New Yorker, The Baltimore Sun, and IndieWire. Ms. Biagiotti has reported on many of the topics addressed in “deepsouth,” including HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues, in her role as a journalist. In fact, in 2009, Ms. Biagiotti won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for her work on the humanitarian crisis in Congo.
James Caldwell High School will join dozens of other schools, universities, and community organizations when we present “deepsouth” on World AIDS Day. The screening is completely free to students of James Caldwell High School, and will be held at 7pm on Monday, December 1, 2014. The film will be just over one hour, and will be followed by a live Q&A session via video uplink with Ms. Biagiotti. We encourage all to attend.
*As previously mentioned, this event is only open to students and faculty
PLACE: James Caldwell High School Center for the Performing Arts
DATE: Monday, December 1, 2014