“The Hungry Heart,” a new documentary film on prescription drug addiction and recovery in Vermont, will be screened at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 4pm. Director Bess O’Brien will run a Q and A session after the screenings. The Martha’s Vineyard community is welcome to be a part of the conversation about this issue. The Martha’s Vineyard Times, a media sponsor of the event, has covered the prevalence of opiate addiction on Martha’s Vineyard in an ongoing series.
According to a press release from Kingdom County Productions:
“The Hungry Heart” has toured across New England to more than 100 towns and was presented in Washington, D.C., by Senator Patrick Leahy and Michael Botticelli, the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Produced by Kingdom County Productions, “The Hungry Heart” provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction through the work of Vermont pediatrician Fred Holmes, whose patients struggle with this disease.
Dr. Holmes works closely with his patients to provide them with therapy and outpatient programs. In addition, Dr. Holmes is part of the Suboxone treatment program. Much like methadone, Suboxone helps many addicts in their recovery process. For some, taking Suboxone is a crucial steppingstone to long-term recovery. For others, Suboxone is abused and diverted onto the street. Through the film, Dr. Holmes struggles with these challenges, trying to make sense and keep the faith in the midst of many contradictions.
The film is not ultimately about Suboxone, or the medical treatment these young people receive from Dr. Holmes. It is about the simple but profound connection that Dr. Holmes creates with each patient, and how important listening and respect is for these young addicts as part of their recovery process. The film shines a light on the healing power of conversation, and the need for connection that many of these young addicts yearn for but do not have in their lives.
In addition, the film interviews a number of older addicts and family members who share their stories of struggle and redemption. The road to recovery is paved with success stories and strewn with relapses, downfalls, and tragic losses. However, throughout the movie the viewer meets the many faces and diverse populations of addiction, and their continued search for a life of recovery.
Best-selling author David Sheff, who wrote the book “Beautiful Boy” about his own son’s addiction, called “The Hungry Heart” “a brilliant and beautiful film that captures the true lives of people in recovery.” MSNBC called the film “deeply moving.”
Geoff Kane, M.D., chief of addiction services at Brattleboro Retreat, raves, “‘The Hungry Heart’ displays the unflinching honesty necessary for addiction recovery. Dr. Fred Holmes displays the unwavering respect, hope, and accountability that people need to get there.”
“The Hungry Heart” opens up dialogue around many issues connected to addiction and recovery, and serves as a jumping-off point for discussion and action steps that many of our communities need.
To watch a trailer of the film or for more information, visit kingdomcounty.org or call 802-357-4616.