Nelson George, who co-wrote and directs Life Support, is thinking about his real-life sister Andrea, a community health activist in Bed-Stuy whose specialty is spreading the word about AIDS. Here, Queen Latifah plays just such an activist, an HIV-positive reformed addict determined to make sure everybody knows that AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women ages 25 to 34, that African-Americans account for 51 percent of new HIV diagnoses, that seven times as many black men as white are diagnosed with HIV, and twenty times as many black women as white. Her tireless rounds of cautionary warnings, condom distribution, and support work don’t leave her enough time for her own children. Latifah seizes the screen and our imagination every minute she’s on camera, and an all-star cast—Anna Deavere Smith, Wendell Pierce, Gloria Reuben, Rachel Nicks—has pitched in to make a message movie with love and bite.
HBO, Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m.