Fig Trees

Feature Film Canada 2008

Fig Trees is a documentary opera about the struggles of AIDS activists Tim McCaskell of Toronto and Zackie Achmat of Capetown, as they fight for access to treatment drugs. A surreal fictional narrative is intercut with the stories of their struggles against government and the pharmaceutical industry. In this fictional world, Gertrude Stein decides to write a tragic opera about Tim and Zackie and their saint-like heroism. She kidnaps them, transports them to Niagara Falls, and forces them to sing a series of complicated avant-garde vocal compositions. Fig Trees explores the meaning of pills, saints and activism.  

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