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Though the film sets out only to chronicle the group's life, not the history of the disease, some viewers will wish for a parting message making sense of where things stand today, with the disease mostly vanished from headlines but still destroying lives around the world.
And by exploring the lighter side of communal action - the camaraderie and cruising that turned weekly meetings into what one member calls "a combination of serious politics and joyful living" - he uncouples the gravity of the cause from the perceived humorlessness of advocacy. Foot soldiers for the dying, the members of Act Up never forgot how to live.
If the AIDS crisis has crested, it's due in large part to the radical advocacy group so intelligently portrayed in United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a documentary that could have been a lot angrier but aims to educate rather than agitate.