Set in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL is about five friends brought together by their HIV status. In a country where HIV is still synonymous with death, these five friends lead lives of contradiction as they refuse to fall in line with the stereotypes of the disease. The film explores what it means to live and love in the age of HIV.
The lead characters, Zanana, Nomfundo, Khaya, Thembi and Ntuthu, began their friendship after meeting at a summit concerning People Living With HIV (PLWH) in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
There’s Zanana, who is a sangoma (traditional healer) in training and also works as an HIV advocate in her community. Her triumph in the face of adversity is in part due to her tough spirit and a great group of friends. There’s Nomfundo, her no-nonsense friend who is openly homosexual; Nthuthu, a single mum and aspiring journalist; Thembi, a new grandmother and acute political player; and Khaya, an HIV support group organiser who’s fallen deeply in love. Blending their intense experiences and unique personalities with the natural beauty and divergent vibes of South Africa – from urban to rural, and the vast disparity between – creating an intimate portrayal of life with HIV in an ever-changing South Africa.
POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL shows an alternate reality of living with HIV as a chronic disease. In their story, we find hope, power, possibility and a lot of attitude.