Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, narrated by Dustin Hoffman and featuring an original score composed and performed by Bobby McFerrin, Common Threads uses intimate details to tell an epic story of love, loss, anger and healing. In the late 1970's, a mysterious new disease began infecting and killing gay men. Common Threads tells the powerful story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, as told through the lives of five very diverse individuals who shared a common fate. Using the monumenta, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as its central, metaphor, the film weaves together personal memories and television news stories to expose the U.S. government's failure to respond to the growing epidemic, and the vibrant protest movement that was born as a result. The winner of the 1989 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the film takes cold statistics and gives them recognizable faces to create a deeply powerful work that for all its poignancy never sacrifices intelligence to emotion.