This essay discusses How to Survive a Plague (dir. David France, US, 2012) as a deep rumination on the natures of action and agency from the individual to the collective, especially gay male action and agency when they are approached intersectionally. It takes the film as an extended contemplation of the pathways and slipstreams between the individual and the collective once public and private histories have been wrapped up with media technologies—and with art as well as critique—in the ways that this has continually happened since the early 1980s in the US.

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