Life Support

Director: Nelson George
Screenwriters: Nelson George, Jim McKay, Hannah Weyer

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


Nelson George makes an auspicious directorial debut with a film based on the life of his sister and family. At its core, Life Support delivers a personal, yet potent, message. It uses its mix of actors and people from the Brooklyn HIV/AIDS community to tell the story of Ana Wallace, who channels her energy and regret over past drug addiction into her work with an AIDS outreach group. A passionate woman with a stubborn streak, she is thrown into a situation that puts her health at risk and threatens to drive her already-fractured family away.

Life Support may be an important political film, but that is not why it succeeds. It works because the pieces add up to a greater whole. The performances are nuanced, the story is authentic, and the filmmaking is full of the details necessary to bring an unrepresented part of American life to the screen. The stars aligned to make this film possible, from writer to producers to its hard-hitting cast. The brightest star in the lineup is undeniably Queen Latifah, who brings her own unique strength and radiance to the lead role. Ana's undying optimism in the face of diversity is both truthful and inspiring. Life Support exemplifies the best of what cinema can do for an issue: make you feel by keeping it real.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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