Screentology

Review: Shooting Heroin (2020)

‘Shooting Heroin’ is the legendary story of a town and its members, who decide to act when a opioid epidemic becomes lethally unstoppable.

Directed by: Spencer T. Folmar.

Starring: Alan Powell, Sherilyn Fenn, Cathy Moriarty, Nicholas Turturro, Brian O’Halloran, Rachel Hendrix, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ola Ray, Garry Pastore, Jaqueline Siegel, Nathan Clarkson, Jeremy John Wells, Spencer T. Folmar, Jordan Fitzsimmons, Pat Romano Jr., Barrett Donner, Dax Spanogle, Susan Koontz, Nicholas Coble, Daniella Mason, E. Bernhard Warg, Leesa Folmar, Holly Crumrine, Elizabeth Ann Canner, Tyler Harrington.

Country: United States.

Genre: Drama.

Running time: 90 minutes.

It doesn’t take too much to understand the concept behind a film like Shooting Heroin. Even if you tend to question its lukewarm, and sometimes monotonous plot, you cannot deny the importance of such a film. Made with blood, sweat and tears, by an incredible supporting team, the movie awakes a feeling of remorse by everyone who “could have done something to prevent a horrible outcome”. We all know where and when we live. Are we doing something about it? After seeing Shooting Heroin I hope you start.

Shooting Heroin tells an original story set within a common background of our actuality. Yes, it’s the heartland of America. Rural Pennsylvania. But you could transport what happens here to every country in the world, and I’m sure you would find something alike. In this small town, where everyone knows each other, and the police force appears to have just one man, the drug dealers are ravaging the lives of the young. This fact is sadly known by everyone, and so far, they haven’t been able to change the situation. As the main officer says, “it’s just me, I cannot handle the situation”. But a young man’s sister passes from a drug overdose, he decides to do something about. And when he does, the whole town backs him up. The violence ensuing makes us wonder if fighting fire with fire can actually be effective.

There’s no need to be extremely realistic in Shooting Heroin. You could switch the plot with and the end result would be very similar as the movie is on a very automatic track. There’s no central story because it doesn’t need one. This is just the reaction of the underdogs, the victims. And that confrontation between peace and war, both trying to exterminate evil, is just a poetic rendering of a dilemma we have every day. How are you supposed to fight, to defeat a force that you know it’s much stronger by definition?

Portrayals are key to the movie. It would be a lesser film, if it were not for the very honest performance of the four leads. Garry Pastore shines as the officer in charge of a struggle that he doesn’t even understand. Sherilyn Fenn is the mother of two victims who one day decides she can’t have it no more. Her most important scene was pivotal to me, as she enchants the setting with a very truthful message of the secondary victims of this war, the survivors who can’t stop loving and supporting those who have fallen in the hands of drugs.

In the end, Shooting Heroin feels like a rushed companion to those who fight this battle in real life. But at least, it’s a very straightforward and candid testimony of a community that’s getting tired every day. We need to hear them. We need to acknowledge the filmmakers trying to make Shooting Heroin a version of something we can live if we don’t do something about it. Even if you don’t live in Pennsylvania, this movie will hit you where it has to.

Rating:

A trailer

With information from Film Affinity, IMDB, YouTube.

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