Heaven Knows What full movie review - Adds a new chapter to movies about addiction
There are a lot of movies about drugs addiction. Heaven Knows What (2014) adds a new chapter to them. It is a small film, which shows the daily life of a number of addicts in a realistic manner.
In addition to the struggle for life, love plays an important role. Heaven Knows What manages to touch the very soul, is fascinating and intriguing. And also acted well (or not) by real addicts.
Heaven Knows What is extra special because of the story behind it. It is the story of Arielle Holmes. On her 12th she already smoked crack, because it was quite normal in her environment. She soon lived on and from the street, day to day, bag to bag. Filmmaker Joshua Safdie, drifting through the city in search of inspiration, came in contact and was fascinated by her. He asked her to write down her story. Every day one page. On loose pieces of paper. Later, he handed her his laptop (which was delivered back neatly by police ....). This is the way a book is created, which forms the basis for this film.
Besides the story of her addiction, she tells the story of her love for Ilya. Ilya is played by the only professional actor (Caleb Landry Jones), because the real Ilya died during the shooting. In the film he falls asleep after a shot and his room catches fire. In the movie Harley (Arielle Holmes) attempts to commit suicide as proof of her love for him. Their relationship is not running very well, which is caused by the drugs. You always have a different priority.
So Arielle Holmes also plays the lead role and she appears to be a natural talent. At the time of filming and writing the book she was hooked. Now she is out of rehab and has two other films on the role. It looks like a variant of the American Dream. From addict to actress.
Arielle Holmes declared in an interview that the life of an addict also has its good sides and that she has trouble with ordinary life. No responsibility, living in the moment, just focused on eating, drinking and drugs. Little hassle and a lot of freedom. I can somewhere imagine that. Yet in the end it seems to me particularly stressful to start each day from scratch. It becomes harder every day to find relaxation. You need more and bigger shots and it becomes increasingly difficult to get the money. A negative spiral, which is hard to breakthrough.
I wonder how she will develop because she's only 22 and not very long clean. If she can keep seeing things from two sides, she will manage. Because besides its authenticity a strength of Heaven Knows What is that it glorifies nor condemns.