Beyond Borders - High on Crack Street
29 November 2011, 10:13
WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use and bad language.
High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell is an award-winning documentary that inspired the Oscar winning film, The Fighter. Now Community Channel gives you the opportunity to watch this harrowing and compelling film.
In industrial Lowell, Massachusetts, where disappearing industry has produced high unemployment, some residents have turned to crack for relief – only to see their dreams of a better life go up in smoke. High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell is a harrowing documentary chronicling 18 months in the lives of three crackhouse friends whose addiction has led them to crime and despair. Brenda, Dicki and Boo-Boo have grown up in and around Lowell. Brenda was an aspiring actress; now she resorts to prostitution to pay for her crack addiction. "I love it more than anything. More than life itself. Yet I hate it worse than anything", says Brenda. Dicki was the "Pride of Lowell" a boxer who once fought Sugar Ray Leonard. He commits robberies to support his habit. Boo-Boo has spent the last twenty years smoking crack, shoplifting, and doing whatever he has to do to stay alive.
To make the film, documentarians Jon Alpert and Mary Ann DeLeo teamed up with Lowell resident and former drug addict Rich Farrell, who was able to obtain remarkable access to the town's drug subculture. In the eighteenth months it took to complete this documentary, the camera follows Brenda, Dicki and Boo-Boo in and out of crack houses, rehab centres and jails. Their sad struggle mirrors the despair of their home town. There are many 'Lowells' in America – where residents are abandoned to drugs and the empty factories echo their despair.