Uplifting Documentary Profiles Pioneering Hospital Ward For AIDS Patients

New documentary "5B" chronicles the story of first hospital ward dedicated to treating AIDS patients (image via RYOT)
New documentary “5B” chronicles the story of first hospital ward dedicated to treating AIDS patients (image via RYOT)

Pride Month is not only about celebrating the LGBTQ community today, but also remembering how we got here.

Produced by RYOT, the new documentary, 5B, tells the inspirational story of the trailblazing nurses and caregivers who showed up at one of the darkest times in our community’s history.

Through first-person testimony, archival clips, and photos, co-directors Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss chronicle the story of San Francisco General Hospital’s ward 5B – the first in the nation dedicated to patients with AIDS.

It was a time when fear ran rampant as friends, partners and family members passed away in a matter of weeks upon diagnosis. But 5B celebrates the hospital ward, which operated from 1983 to 2003, and its nurses who led the way in offering a more humane way to treat those afflicted.

The documentary shares not only the somber, emotional toll the disease took on the LGBTQ community at the height of the epidemic, but also the inspiring, heroic actions of hospital staffers who stepped up and over bigotry and fear.

The new documentary "5B" chronicles the story of first hospital ward dedicated to treating AIDS patients

As the tagline reads,”When people were consumed by fear, a few heroes showed the world the power of human touch.”

In the trailer below, one of the nurses explains, “You had to get out of the mode that you were here for curing people; you were here to care for people.”

“We decided if we can’t save these folks, we’re going to touch them,” says another.

The Los Angeles Times calls the “superbly told” 5B a “stirring portrait” that is “moving, powerful and essential.”

More from the critics:

“An uplifting film about profound human decency and generosity of spirit.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Grips the heart exactly where it needs too.” – Variety

5B is in theaters now. Click here for ticket information.

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