Chinese director gets HIV patients to work on film
Gu Changwei’s feature film about AIDS comes with a documentary about the real roles of six HIV-positive people who worked on the movie.
Fiction is not powerful enough for director Gu Changwei, whose new feature film, Life is a Miracle, is the subject of Together, a documentary about AIDS patients.
It was a tough task, however, for director Zhao Liang, who directed the documentary under Gu’s supervision, to find six HIV-positive people who were willing to be filmed. Zhao started with online communities for the group. He talked to them and won their trust before making the invitation. Still, most of them refused him.
Living with HIV-positive people affected the crew. At the beginning of the documentary, one crew member was too scared to open his mouth when he knew he was sitting beside an HIV patient. At the film’s end he said he now knows the importance of respect.