Documentaries concerning drug addiction have a tendency to portray their cases as painful and tragic. They operate as works that inform and investigate, rather than provide concrete solutions to help eradicate the problem.
This is why Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s Heroin(e) is a genuinely refreshing watch. Not only does it dare to tell the truth of its featured subjects, but permits itself the luxury of optimism.
The film follows three women—missionary Necia Freeman, judge Patricia Keller, and fire chief Jan Rader—who are walking the extra mile in the battle against West Virginia’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
The documentary reveals that the state’s epidemic has resulted in an overdose rate more than ten times the national average. Drug addiction is a severe problem in the state, with overdoses becoming a near-constant trend.
Freeman, Keller, and Rader have devoted their time to combatting the opioid crisis, gaining new allies along the way. They have opened their hearts to victims of drug addiction, and it is extremely motivating to see the sheer amount of patience and determination they display.
Heroin(e) is a documentary that is bursting with positivity. It is one of those movies that feels more resonant in the time of a pandemic, as unity and collaboration are more necessary now than ever to combat our global challenges.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2018 Oscars, Heroin(e) is currently available for streaming on Netflix.