The Fire Within



"This is a film of rare power."
- Edinburgh International Film Festival

"this film sings"
- Boston Globe

- Bay Windows New England's Largest Gay and Lesbian Newspaper

"frank and intimateā€¦the director has captured something about resilience"
- A&U Magazine

"It captures the problems that face those with HIV in the Western world excellently."
- MedSin-UK


The Fire Within is a compelling feature-length documentary film chronicling a year in the life of long-term AIDS survivor Bob Bowers. Bob was infected in 1983 at the age of 20 due to a one-time decision to share a needle. He met Shawn in 1990 and in spite of the disease they married six months later.

The film parallels the struggles, challenges, and fortitude of two incredibly passionate, inspiring and vibrant souls as Shawn participates in a 7-day, 575-mile bike ride to try, in some measure, to replicate Bobs everyday battles and victories.

Gritty, raw and very real, The Fire Within is not only a movie about surviving AIDS; this is a movie about thriving regardless of the circumstances.


Directed, shot and produced by
Leanne Whitney

Elyse Katz
Bonnie Dickenson

Executive Producer
Suzanne Gottlieb Calleja

Associate Producers
Suzie Balaban
Lynel Tocci
Phillip Wagner

Directors of Photography
Peter Calvin
Rob Humphreys

Written by
Leanne Whitney

Adam Hamilton

Andi Armaganian