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Quiet Heroes, featuring Professor Elizabeth Clement, to Debut at Sundance 2018


Dr. Elizabeth Clement, along with other specialists from the College of Law and Marriott Library, contributed to Quiet Heroes, which will be screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Dr. Clement served as historical consultant and conducted interviews with subjects in the film. She has also worked to solicit and evaluate archival materials and conduct oral histories. 

Film Summary: 

In Salt Lake City, Utah, the religious monoculture severely complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients received no support from—or were cast into exile by—the political, religious, and medical communities. Further, Mormon culture encouraged gay men to marry women and have a family to cure themselves of their “affliction,” counsel which led to secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. In the entire state and intermountain region there was only one doctor to serve all HIV/AIDS patients. This is the story of her fight to save the lives of a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die.

Origins of the Project

The film came out of a multi-disciplinary project started by Professor Terry Kogan in the Law School. Terry ran into Dr. Ries at a cocktail party about four years ago. She and Maggie Snyder, her partner and PA at clinic 1A (the U’s HIV clinic) had just retired, and they were wondering what to do with all the scrapbooks and files they had about HIV/AIDS. Ries was considering throwing them out.  Realizing what a disaster this would be, and how important Ries and Snyder were not just to the AIDS community in Utah, but to the queer community more broadly, he suggested instead that they consider letting him create an archive. He originally intended for there to be an archive named for Ries and Snyder at the Marriott Library that would contain archival materials and an oral history collection.  When they agreed to think about that, Professor Kogan then brought Dr. Elizabeth Clement, Leslie Frances (Professor of Law with an expertise in medical ethics) and Ries and Snyder together. Dr. Clement agreed to help with the processing of archival materials and to run the oral history component, Professor Frances advised on issues of medical ethics related to the materials in the archival collection.  Professor Kogan then began to fundraise for the project.  He put together a day long symposium in the Fall of 2015 at the law school in honor of Dr. Ries and Ms. Snyder that brought together medical people, historians and legal experts.  The archive is up and running, the team have conducted more than 250 hours of oral histories.

Origins of the Film

As part of the fundraising, Professor Kogan approached his student Jared Ruga. At the time Ruga was working on three degrees at the University of Utah.  Ruga’s family had been involved in various philanthropic efforts in Salt Lake, so Professor Kogan asked them about possible donations to the project, and they asked if he had considered a documentary film.  At that point he hadn’t, but it sounded like a fantastic idea and everybody ran with it.  Jared Ruga, who also produced the film, was also its primary fundraiser.


Sundance Screening Times

Sunday, January 21, 6:30 p.m. - 7:43 p.m.

Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, SLC

Tuesday, January 23, noon - 1:13 p.m.

Egyptian Theatre, Park City

Thursday, January 25 at 3:00 pm.  FREE PUBLIC SCREENING! –

Salt Lake City at the Tower Theatre


Friday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. - 8:13 p.m.

Holiday Village Cinema 4, Park City


Link to the film website

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Last Updated: 1/18/18