Based on the best-selling book by Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On
is a real-life drama about the tragic, time-consuming battles among government agencies, gay groups and scientists that impeded the discovery of, and research on, the AIDS virus. Gay leader Bill Kraus (Ian McKellen) is dying — and no doctor can name the disease that's killing him. All anyone knows is that some epidemic is attacking homosexual men. Rather than get down to serious experimentation and study, the Center for Disease Control stonewalls any effort to prove that the disease is transmitted through the blood; French and American scientists squabble about who should get credit for discovering the virus; and the gay community, sensitive about criticism of their lifestyle, refuses to admit that their own actions could make a difference in the spread of AIDS. Meanwhile, the death toll mounts... and mounts... and mounts...
Ian McKellen as Bill Kraus in
And the Band Played On
Photo by Janet Van Ham/HBO
Words by Ian McKellen
Aired on HBO originally in the USA, then on network television.
Cable Ace Award Best Supporting Actor, Ian McKellen
Winner of the Emmy® for Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Winner of the Special Grand Prize of the Jury at the Montreal World Film Festival
Winner of the Humanitas Prize
Winner of the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie
Released theatrically in Great Britain.