Wednesday, March 1, 2017
A Fire in My Belly
“A Fire In My Belly” by David Wojnarowicz is definitely meant to provoke a response from the audience. In the short version that we viewed in class, the audio paired with the film amplified the disturbing message Woinarowicz was trying to tell. The longer version of the film felt like it had less urgency although the images and clips were still very fast-paced. I think that if I had not known about how the film was meant to talk about HIV/AIDS I would not have really understood it. The first thing that I had noticed was that the film had a lot of references to Mexican culture like the news headlines and the people on the streets. It could be a reference to working class peoples and the images of the hands and coins seemed like it could be referencing how working class people are usually working for under living wages. There are also a lot of references to religion like the crucifix and the bread. All of this was mixed with eerie clips of bugs, fire, and blood. These images mixed with the working class people made me think about whether Woinarowicz was trying to show that hell and chaos was actually on earth. In regards to the HIV/AIDS theme I could see how the shorter clip definitely conveys this message. The background audio with the chants from protests really shows the urgency of the message. It could be interpreted that if people don’t start paying attention to the problem of HIV/AIDS in society, nothing good will come out of it; death, poverty, disease will ensue and humanity will see hell on earth. I think Woinarowicz is giving a warning to people about their treatment of people with AIDS/HIV; it’s a call to be more compassionate albeit in a more disturbing way.