Things That Matter

Sia’s Music Video For ‘Free Me’ Aims To Raise HIV Awareness With Powerful Performance By Zoe Saldana

Enigmatic Australian singer Sia, who is known for songs such as “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” — as well as hiding her face as much as possible — teamed up with Julianne Moore and Zoe Saldana recently. They collaborated on a music video for Sia’s new single, “Free Me,” and to also raise awareness for #EndHIV, a campaign to raise funds for HIV treatment research.

In this powerful music video for Sia’s “Free Me,” actress Julianne Moore narrates a deeply emotional moment where a pregnant mother (Zoe Saldana) is told by her doctor that she has HIV.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

The doctor continues, telling her that without proper treatment, she could possibly pass the virus on to her child. The music swells and the world around the mother, played perfectly by Saldana, melts away.

We proceed Sia-style, through a dark world of dance and emotions.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

Dancers join her, throwing her around, catching her, moving with her and seemingly ripping her apart as she tries to come to terms with what is happening to her. The dancers fight with one another, signifying the battle going on in her body.

At one point, Saldana dances alone with a backdrop of lights.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

She performs an interpretive dance to the hypnotic music, reaching out with clawed hands, only to have those hands pulled back. It’s a truly intense and bewildering dance that evokes some really strong and powerful emotions.

The video ends in with a powerful message.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

It also ends in tears: the mother’s tears, her baby’s tears and of course, our tears. A message for HIV awareness is narrated again by the sweet-voiced Julianne Moore as the video fades to black.

Watch the whole video below for the full effect.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

Remember to bring the tissues.

And if you know someone struggling with HIV, go to EndHIV.com to learn about the experimental treatment the video is promoting.


READ: Leave It To Zoe Saldana To Take Something As Dark As Her Character’s Baggage And Turn It Into A Message Of Strength And Redemption


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The Second Person Cured Of HIV Is Reported To Still Be Free Two Years Later

Entertainment

The Second Person Cured Of HIV Is Reported To Still Be Free Two Years Later

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Just a small bit of good news during these hard times.

Adam Castillejo, an Argentinian man based in London is known as the second person ever to be cured of HIV. Two years after being cured of the disease he is still free of the virus.

Last week, The Lancet HIV revealed in their medical journal that Castillejo finished HIV antiretroviral therapy.

In his efforts to treat lymphoma, Castillejo underwent a stem cell transplant. At the time, his donor carried a mutation known as CCR5-delta 32. CCR5-delta 32 is resistant to HIV and researchers said treatment for his lymphoma not only saved Castillejo’s life but also cured him of HIV.

According to CNN, “HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a life-long viral infection that attacks the body’s immune system and can have significant health consequences. There is no widely available cure, however, the virus is treatable with a combination of drugs known as antiretroviral therapy that reduces the amount of virus in a person’s blood and it is preventable by using PrEP.”

PrEP was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012 for medical use.

According to UNAids there 37.9 million people across the globe were living with HIV in 2018.

“Our findings show that the success of stem cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin patient, can be replicated,” said Ravindra Gupta, a professor at the University of Cambridge’s clinical microbiology department.

As part of his lymphoma treatment, Castillejo underwent one stem-cell transplantation and did not have radiotherapy treatment applied to his whole body as part of his treatment.

Castillejo’s recovery form HIV is a light in studies related to the treatment of the virus and ways in which to pursue less intensive treatment approaches to curing it. “It is important to note that this curative treatment is high-risk, and only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening hematological malignancies,” Gupta warned about the potential to use a similar method in pursuing invasive treatment of the virus.

Because of the high risks involved with such curative treatment, it is not one being offered broadly to patients with HIV.

This is particularly true when it comes to those that on successful antiretroviral treatment.

The great news is that Castillejo is the second reported patient to undergo this experimental treatment. The authors on his study have said that while he will require extensive observation it won’t have to be quite as regular.

There’s A Major Update About The ‘Avatar’ Movie Sequel And It Will Seriously Send You To The Moon

Entertainment

There’s A Major Update About The ‘Avatar’ Movie Sequel And It Will Seriously Send You To The Moon

@officialavatar / Twitter

If you’re a fan of the 2009 film “Avatar” by James Cameron, you’re likely a little over movie updates promising you that it will hit theaters soon.

In December 2009, the film smashed box office records and wrangled in a total of $2.7 billion worldwide. Soon after, Cameron revealed his plans for unleashing several sequels that would surmount the technological groundbreaker, and we were beyond elated. Which brings us to 2020.

For a literal DECADE, we’ve seen the film’s release date pushed further and further away from us and the current COVID-19 pandemic has put the fate of the franchise’s future up in the air once again.

Still, recent updates are giving us hope and some insight into what to expect.

Recently, the official Avatar Twitter account posted a new behind-the-scenes photo of Avatar 2 actors.

The new post features Zoe Saldana alongside Sam Worthington. Cliff Curtis and Kate Winslet. If you’re a TRUE fan of Avatar you’ll know that the upcoming sequels will feature an underwater world. The latest reveal from the Twitter account gave us a pretty fun hint at what the work going into that will look like. After all, the film’s performance capture scenes that are taking place underwater are a cinematic first!

“From the set of the sequels: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, and Cliff Curtis taking a break from underwater performance capture for a quick photo,” the official Avatar movie account tweeted shared in a tweet from last week. “Fun fact: Much of the performance capture took place in this 900,000-gallon tank, built specifically for the sequels.”

Saldana, Afro-Latina Sci-Fi Queen, will reprise her role as Neytiri in the new series.

She is set to play alongside Worthington who will return as Jake Sully. Actress Kate Winslet joins the cast as the new character Ronal, and Curtis will play a new lead role.

Production for the first Avatar sequel was shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, Deadline announced that production was picked back up in New Zealand. The decision was made because the country has new health and safety production protocols concerning COVID-19. “The country’s lockdown has been gradually eased in recent weeks and further significant relaxation is expected next week, including the permission for gatherings of up to 100 people. Domestic travel and office work is also due to resume,” Deadline reported in a piece about the sequel’s relocation. “The country has restricted international travel and required arrivals to quarantine for a period of time so the teams behind major international productions may need to wait a while longer but the path to a return is becoming clearer.”

After Avatar 2 is released on Dec. 17, 2021!!!

And the fun won’t stop there. Three more Avatar movies are expected to debut in 2023, 2025 and 2027. All featuring Saldana.