In “It’s Not Over,” documentarian Andrew Jenks looks at HIV/AIDS through the stories of three Millennials. Many had hoped that they could be the first AIDS free generation but sadly that is not the case.
Jenks takes a road trip with Paige Rawl, a college freshman from Indiana who has been living with HIV her whole life and is a youth HIV/AIDS advocate.
He also spends time in India with Sarang Bhakre, an openly gay theater director who is HIV-positive and whose latest play deals with gay marriage. This is a bold move considering homosexuality is outlawed in the country.
We also meet teacher and youth mentor Lucky Mufundisi, working in Khayelitsha, a fast growing township in South Africa.
Jenks’ previous work includes a documentary film called “Andrew Jenks, Room 335,” in which he moved into an assisted living facility in Florida to see what he could learn from his elders, and the MTV show “World of Jenks,” where he moved in with a diverse group of strangers, each for one week, to get an inside glimpse of their lives.
Jenks spoke to Indiewire last year ahead of the world premiere about the challenges of making this movie, in a day and age when the topic of HIV/AIDS isn’t a part of young people’s regular conversations like perhaps it should be, saying:
Not very often do you get a challenge to make a movie that a lot of people would say is focused on a topic that is stale and that people really aren’t talking about. AIDS is still such a global problem and epidemic I feel like my generation isn’t talking much about and clearly should be.
Rawl hopes that this film will help change that, telling Indiewire:
Youth and teens are not realizing that it has become such a big issue today. They think it can’t happen to them. Hopefully seeing this film they’ll see I look just like them, I do all the same things. The only difference is I have this one little thing about me: the fact that I’m HIV+…If (this film) can save just one life then everything I’ve been through will be worth it.
“It’s Not Over” was made possible by the MAC AIDS Fund with support from UNAIDS. It reminds us that the fight for an HIV/AIDS free generation continues, and there is a lot of work left to do.