Watch the trailer.
Not for the faint of heart (1999) – Over the course of two years, director Steven Okazaki filmed the heroin drug scene in San Francisco. He follows five young addicts through their dark, downward spiral with a drug that controls their entire being and is virtually impossible to kick.
Okazaki exposes a drug culture that goes hand-in-hand with prostitution and the unscrupulous presence of dealers and pimps. These are lives defined by degradation and hopelessness in a place formerly known for its counter-culture attitudes – of peace, love, recreational drugs and inspirational music. Now, for so many, it has become a place in which the sole motivation is to procure the “next fix”.
The personal stories of these five young people are candid and poignant. And in the telling of these stories, there comes an understanding that the individual journeys which led to this place reveals a far more disturbing truth. Through the film’s sympathetic portrayal comes the realization that these people are far greater victims of circumstance than of choice. One thing we learn is that it is near impossible to find the hope to survive a serious drug addiction on these dirty streets of San Francisco.
Director: Steven Okazaki
Interesting factoid: “During this period [1995-1998], black tar heroin use, particularly among young adults, surged to record levels in the city”.
One powerful drug: “The rush is what got me” – Tracey.
Nowhere else to go: “Jessica works on Capp Street, known as “The End of the Line for prostitutes””.
Where are they now? Or at least, since 2004.