They Go to Die is an intimate and personal documentary-in-progress investigating the lives of four former migrant gold mineworkers who have contracted drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and HIV while working at the gold mine, and one researcher’s journey to find that the TB and HIV epidemics are much more than just pages in an academic journal.
They Go to Die surfaces issues of health, human rights, and legal complexities associated with these issues – but in its true form it is a story of life, love, and the hope of family. As the story progresses, only one of the four miners, Mr. Mkoko, survives his illness – a true test of will for he and his wife. The story follows Mr. and Mrs. Mkoko as they travel with Yale University researcher Jonathan Smith to the United States to speak at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC. Here, on global health’s largest stage, the Mkoko family transcends politics and debate, and speaks to the power of the human bond. In a topic surrounded by disease and death, and in an industry plagued with a dark past, at its core it is a compelling narrative about emerging from despair to triumph; it shows how otherwise distant individuals join together to accomplish an incredible goal.