In 2006 William Brawner revealed in a magazine article that he had AIDS. The news shocked his friend and former Howard University classmates. Brawner was somewhat of a ladies man and was so in denial of his status that he often practiced unprotected sex.
It would take five years and countless hours of filming to help capture Brawner’s story and on World AIDS Day in New York City, Brawner, Brown and producer Yvonne M. Shirley will show an extended trailer of 25 to LIFE, a documentary based on Brawner’s journey.
Honest and raw, the film lays bare agony of the events surrounding Brawner’s diagnosis as a toddler — and his decision to disclose his status as an adult.
“We try not to villify him, and at the same time we don’t want to make him a martyr, either,” Brown says of his treatment of Brawner in 25 to LIFE. “This is not some type of an apology piece. We just tried to present a piece where viewers can answer some of the tough questions about Will’s life within themselves. And I think it kind of humanizes the experience of being HIV positive or having AIDS. You will wish that Will made some better choices. And seeing him work through some of these issues, you’ll feel for him, too.