Friday, November 20, 2020

Higher Love Review: A Raw, Unfiltered, and Emotional Look at Addiction in America

Release date: November 3, 2020
Running time: 78 minutes

A blue collar worker tries to rescue his pregnant, heroin-addicted girlfriend from the notorious streets of Camden, NJ and her close-knit group of drug users. Once their son is born, he forces her to choose between her life with her drug "family" and one with him and their child.

Higher Love is a painful documentary to watch, with a story that is probably all too common in America today.  A family is torn apart by drugs, and the film follows the drug addict's attempts to kick the habit.  Despite knowing everything that the drugs are doing and how it is affecting their lives, the drugs or the lifestyle always call them back.  And the film documents this in painful detail, showing both parties and their lives in stark, real situations.  You see how it affects them day to day, and the barriers that they put up for recovery.  The film mainly focuses on the family, but it also brings in stories from other individuals affected by drugs.  From recovering people, to those who are on and off the wagon, the movie follows a variety of stories that coincide and interact with the main family.  And it also includes interviews with those individuals, allowing them to speak freely and honestly about the drug habits and what that does to them and those around them.  It paints a very real, very painful, and ultimately unfiltered picture of drugs and addiction in America.

And what this movie does so beautifully and sadly is that it tells these stories carefully and honestly, with no prejudgment or influence by the film.  The actions of the individuals involved are shown with care and clarity, leaving the viewer to take it in.  Judgment might be made, but it is not the filmmakers who are trying to force those.  And the story of the film is a slow one, but that just lets you experience this little slice of life to the fullest.  There are some time jumps, but generally the movie shows day to day life for those experiencing and living with addiction.  And it follows them for enough time that you really see the effects that drugs can have on a family, and what that means for more of America.  It is an unfiltered look into what is happening all over the country, and might give you an appreciation of just how bad this crisis is.  And in that unfiltered look you see some frank conversations and some very emotional moments.  

Higher Love is an unfiltered, raw, and emotional look at the effect of drugs and addiction on an American family and all the highs and lows that come from that.  

Watch it.
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Higher Love is available digitally and on demand November 3, 2020.

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