Habit is an autobiographical documentary that follows the current history of the AIDS epidemic along dual trajectories: the efforts of South Africa’s leading AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign, struggling to gain access to AIDS drugs and the daily routine of the videomaker, a veteran AIDS activist in the U.S. who has been living with AIDS for more than ten years. The videomaker moves through his day, attending to mundane errands, eating, taking pills, having conversations with friends (some of whom have diseases such as AIDS and Breast Cancer, and others of whom are healthy), as recurring memories of a recent trip to South Africa interrupt the routine. Habit presents a rigorous working-through of ideas concerning privilege, ethics, responsibility, futility, solidarity, hope, and struggle.
From an interview with the artist:
…what is political about my work … is not that it shows political activism. The politics of my work happen when you watch the film, in the real time unfolding of the film on screen.
The work is very quiet. It starts off feeling very familiar and goes off in very unexpected directions for me. I hope that it does the same thing for viewers. It starts off small, talking about my life with my partner and the problems of being in a relationship in which one person has AIDS and one does not … but then it goes off into questions about mortality and nature and one’s relationship to nature and aging.