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tilda swinton stars in video to promote hiv treatment

The actress dances a dance for a medical breakthrough in traditional treatment plans.

by Hanna Hanra
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01 December 2017, 2:28pm

You probably aren’t aware of ICCARRE and Dr Leibowich, the French immunologist at the forefront of a series of trials looking at the effects of reducing HIV medication in the treatment of patients. In English, the name ICCARRE translates as “taken in short cycles, anti-retrovirals remain effective.” During two clinical trials involving 94 patients taking the standard “triple cocktail” combination of drugs, seven days a week, Dr Leibowitch reduced their treatment plan to just four days a week with 100% success rate. The relief of both the psychological and the physical consequences of daily medication is immeasurable.

The video shows the ideas behind ICCARRE and it’s work -- the tenets of care, support, harmony and balance -- via the choreography of Blanca Li, known for her work with Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Kanye West, as well as more traditional outlets like the Paris Opera Ballet and the Berlin Ballet.

The video shoot took place in one afternoon, Tilda arriving unrehearsed and without ever performing in a group piece before. “Blanca knew Tilda needed support and care during development of the piece so she mapped out a whole series of moves involving the dancers carrying and supporting the actress, creating this almost effortless quality where Tilda seems to defy gravity,” says the video’s creative director and Tilda’s long-time collaborator Jerry Stafford.

“There was a real feeling of cohesiveness and ease between the dancers and Tilda and Blanca. Although they had never worked together, Tilda had seen the dancers perform before in Blanca’s show and there was a lot of mutual respect and trust there. It was of course very physically challenging for everyone as the window to shoot the film was so tight.”

Soundtracked by Nick Cave’s Love Letter, “The film itself is, ‘a plea, a petition, a kind of prayer,’ as Cave sings on the track,” says Stafford. “I felt the sentiment of the song complimented the work of ICCARRE on one level, but also added a universal dimension, an abstract emotional force. The song for me is like a ‘primal scream’ which engages the listener almost physically.”

With the work of ICCARRE, France should, within three years, be the first country to adopt a HIV/AIDS treatment plan that benefits patients by reducing their medication by 156 days per year in complete safety. A prayer indeed.