The Frenetic Life Of An Addict – Heaven Knows What

Truly modern cinema is not lacking in films about addicts. This is why, any new addition to the genre is rarely new or unique. It is difficult for stories of those living on the edge to avoid being exploitative, or gratuitous. Heaven Knows What avoids these traps quite nicely. From the first opening, chaotic scene throbbing with Hardstyle EDM the viewer knows they are in for a realistic, gritty look at what life is like living on the streets, pining for the next fix. Without giving too much away, there really isn’t much of a plot.In fact, we end up in pretty much the same place in the end as in the beginning. Yet it doesn’t meander. This is a brilliant way of truly showing how a heroin addicts life works: going in circles. Every day starting fresh. Just quell the hunger inside, find some food, hopefully a safe place to stay the night. It is heartbreaking and so very real. Yet try to look away. The most amazing part of this film is that it is played by real addicts. The only professional actor is Caleb Landry Jones (yes, the excellent actor from Antiviral) and he was brought in merely because the previous actor was not able to do the job due to his own struggle with heroin. Harley (played by Ariel Jones) penned the story – which is loosely based on her own experiences living in the streets of New York as a heroin addict. Part documentary, part fiction, but completely riveting and sobering.  This is an important film that exposes viewers to the realities of drug addiction; I heartily recommend.

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