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in Southwest Louisiana

a portrait of

Danny Cooper and Ben Royal
28 minutes

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watch the film here

A mailman openly fights AIDS and anti-gay prejudice in the rural South.

Danny Cooper, a rural mailman, lives with his lover Ben Royal in a remote town in the deep south. Far from the sophistication and relative tolerance of urban centers, Danny has been openly gay since his teens. He has paid a price for his honesty--it cost him his job and his home but he's always fought back, and frequently won. Danny fights AIDS with the same openness and courage--And even while facing the prospect of an early death, he calls himself "the luckiest human in the world."

Voices from the press

"A minor Masterpiece"

--Art & Understanding Magazine

Read the whole review here.

"FIGHTING IN SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA pops our balloons of urban chauvinism . . .it makes a strong case for coming out, for being yourself."

--Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco

"I found it terribly moving and way ahead of many similar-styled portraits."

--Mark Finch, British Film Institute

"It is by far one of the funniest, most moving and most inspiring films I have ever seen. The fact that it deals with AIDS makes it all the more important."

--John Barrow, CSW, AIDS therapist, Brooklyn, New York.


  • Best Short's LA Gay Film Festival

  • Red Ribbon--American Film & Video Festival

  • Jury Award--Black Maria Film Festival

  • Jury Award"--Sinking Creek Film Festival

  • Silver Apple--National Educational Film Festival










How to buy

Schools and libraries can purchase public performance licenses by contacting @Docuseek

Other Links

Fighting in Southwest Louisiana is part of FEVER IN THE ARCHIVE, selections from the Royal S. Marks Collection of aids activist videotapes at the New York Public Library curated by Jim Hubbard, project director for the Estate Project's aids activist video preservation program shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and elsewhere. See

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