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Directed by Tom E. Brown
110 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
Imagine being dropped from your health-care plan for cashing a $100 birthday check because you’re now earning “too much money.” There’s no way this can be the premise for a comedy, right?
San Franciscan Dan (James Roday) has been HIV positive for 22 years but is suddenly left without insurance coverage. He has three weeks of his meds left, then he has to come up with $3,000 or die. Director Tom E. Brown assembles some unlikely ingredients to create this dark comedy, possibly the first one about the challenge of living with AIDS. “It is an AIDS movie, but it’s not an AIDS movie,” says Brown cryptically.
Pushing Dead takes a hard look at dating, failed relationships, family (biological and chosen), a frustrating health-care system, and a rapidly gentrifying city. The film spotlights the tragedy of living with HIV but makes light of this reality by exploring the unlikely humor that lies in its many challenges. The real, but at times absurd, struggles that preoccupy the excellent ensemble cast provide the perspective that when systems fail us, we have to rally around each other, rather than give into cynicism or take life too seriously—as serious as it may appear. Pushing Dead is bound to both move and educate you.
— Carly Nelson
Winner: Audience Award–Frameline 40, Audience Award–2016 Ashland Independent Film Festival, Audience Award–2016 Twist Seattle LGBT Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature–2016 Reel Pride, Jury Award Best Feature– 2016 Roze Flmdagen, Discovery Award–2016 Calgary Internation Film Festival, Best Director–2016 Orlando Film Festival, Special Jury Price for Acting (Robin Weigert)–2016 Florida Film Festival