(Photo Credits: Screengrab from 5B Film’s YouTube Account)
When people were consumed by fear, a few heroes showed the world the power of human touch.
Hey, guys! You might want to watch this film titled 5B (Paul Haggis, Dan Krauss), it is currently in theaters and you can purchase tickets and check the cinema movie schedule near you here.
The title of the film, 5B, refers to a ward unit established by nurses in 1983—during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—on the 5th floor of San Francisco General Hospital. Reportedly, it was “designed specifically to treat HIV/AIDS patients” and is the first of its kind in the United States. The ward operated up until 2003.
This documentary is about the “remarkable story of courage and compassion from the heroes of San Francisco General’s Ward 5B” told through the eyes of the nurses, doctors, their surviving patients and their loved ones as well as the “staff who volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being during a time of great uncertainty.”
People reported that one of the patients who appeared in the film named Steve Williams said, “The nurses at San Francisco General do such a wonderful job. They’re not afraid to touch you.” Williams fell in love with his nurse, Guy Vandenburg, and vice versa. Now married, the couple survived the challenges of those tough times and to say that it was tough is an understatement as Williams’ condition at one point “grew dire,” dire enough that he slipped into a coma.
Vandenburg said to People, “I’m standing here for all the people who are no longer with us and for all the people who are still alive but can’t be here. Nurses, patients, activists, people who treat other people with respect and dignity and love.”
On another note, Los Angeles Times described the film as a “tough, vital lesson in love, valor and compassion” on the one hand and on the other, “a somber, evocative reminder of that devastating yet galvanizing era.”
Indeed, Ward 5B is “not just a place; it’s a story of hope and courage.”