Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson Featured in AIDS Doc About L.A. Response

A new documentary will tell the story about the fight against HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.

APLA Health announced on Wednesday, World AIDS Day, that production has begun on “Commitment to Life,” a feature-length doc about how AIDS activists, doctors, celebrities and studio executives changed the course of the epidemic. The film will feature stories about Rock Hudson, Eazy-E, Elizabeth Taylor, David Geffen, the making of “Philadelphia,” the creation of the red ribbon, the local ACT UP chapter and APLA.

“As a filmmaker, I have told stories about the LGBTQ+ community through the lives of some of its trailblazers. But no story has the epic sweep, heart wrenching drama, and galvanizing emotion as that of the AIDS crisis in Los Angeles. It’s a story that has yet to be fully told, and it’s a film that demanded to be made. ‘Commitment to Life’ is that film,” director Jeffrey Schwarz said in statement.

“Commitment to Life” is produced by APLA Health and Automat Pictures. Ron Sylvester is the executive producer, while Aimée Flaherty serves as the producer.

“There is intentional symbolism in announcing this important project on World AIDS Day in the year in which we also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the AIDS Epidemic,” APLA Health CEO Craig Thompson said. “It is critical to capture and reflect on the oral histories of our surviving elders so their heroic stories and the memories of those they loved may be shared far and wide. Hopefully those who are too young to have experienced this part our history will be moved by the important lessons this film will bring to life and inspired to continue in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic once and for all.”

News of the doc comes on the heels of Peacock’s announcement that it has acquired “Right to Try,” the Octavia Spencer-produced documentary short about trying to find a cure for HIV. It premiered on the streamer on Wednesday.