Madonna’s AIDS documentary I Am Because We Are airs tonight

Today is World AIDS Day, and as part of the reflection on the global impact the disease has, Sundance is debuting Madonna’s documentary I Am Because We Are at 9 p.m. ET tonight. Directed by Nathan Rissman and narrated, written, and produced by Madonna, the film looks at HIV and AIDS in the African nation of Malawi, where more than one million kids are orphans as a result of AIDS.

The film’s web site says it “attempts to explore what is going on in the heads and hearts of these orphans, and what the future holds for them,” and that it “explore[s] all sides of the dilemma, from responsibility to victim mentality.” The Sundance Channel said in a press release that, in addition to interviews with people from Bill Clinton to Desmond Tutu, “Madonna shares her own personal thoughts, making for an incredibly intimate and emotional cinematic experience,” although “the film is ultimately fueled by the children’s riveting stories, which will stir audiences, and at best, rouse them to action.”

Madonna, who adopted a son from Malawi and is building a school there, said that in making the film, “I had many goals. I did get to a point where I thought, ‘I’m being overambitious, I’m trying to say too much, I’ll never accomplish it.’ But I feel proud of the fact that I did get to make all my points,” she told the AP. “If all you can do is live life in YOUR world in a way that shows you are responsible for the people around you, that’s a course of action. People can be of service in large ways and small,” she said.

Watch the film’s trailer:

I Am Because We Are
I Am Because We Are [Sundance Channel]
Madonna’s film on AIDS in Malawi airs on Sundance [AP]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.