amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

The Battle of amfAR


The Battle of amfAR tells the story of an unlikely partnership between Swiss scientist Dr. Mathilde Krim and Hollywood movie star Elizabeth Taylor, who joined forces to create amfAR in 1985. The documentary chronicles how their leadership gave rise to a research enterprise that would eventually deliver effective treatments for HIV/AIDS and save millions of lives.

Alongside archival footage of the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the film features interviews with Dr. Krim; amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, the film’s executive producer; Dr. Mervyn Silverman, longtime amfAR board member and Director of Public Health in San Francisco during the early years of the AIDS epidemic; Richard Berkowitz, co-author of How to Have Sex in an Epidemic, the first safe sex manual; and many others.

The 40-minute Telling Pictures production was directed by Oscar- and Emmy-winning filmmaking team Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk) and Jeffrey Friedman. Their other collaborations include Common Threads, The Celluloid Closet, HOWL, and Lovelace. The Battle of amfAR was an Official Selection at the 2013 Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. In an interview at Sundance with HBO’s GenConnect, Epstein said, “We would like the film to be a reminder that AIDS is still with us, it’s not over till it’s over, and we’re closer than ever to finding a cure. That’s what the work of Mathilde Krim and amfAR is all about.”

The film premiered on HBO in December 2013 and is currently available on HBOGo. Check in at or for updates on new viewing opportunities throughout 2014.

Above: amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole discusses the documentary The Battle of amfAR with Charlie Rose.


Above: amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole discusses the documentary The Battle of amfAR, which he executive produced, at the Sundance Film Festival. Thanks to genConnect.