Speed Productions/Fanlight Productions
45 minutes. VHS $199; DVD $229. Rentals available.
Wunderman’s documentary follows the lives of three young methamphetamine users and their families in Hope, British Columbia. Over the course of a year, she achieves intimacy with her subjects, who appear in tense family scenes as well as in solo confessions.
Aaron, a promising singer-songwriter, is shown smoking crystal meth at a party, swinging between expletive-laced justifications of his habit and attempts to come clean. His mother protects her other children from his violence. Kelsie, a high school student, comes home pregnant after her mother throws her out for drugged, disruptive behavior. The camera records the caesarean birth. The baby brings purpose to Kelsie’s life; she sheds her drug-dealer boyfriend and aces her GED. LeRae denies her meth use and moves out after her mother reads her diary. The camera captures their attempts to forgive each other before high school graduation.
Teens will identify with these varying experiences with this popular drug. Youth workers will find an admirable role model in the alternative school principal, an empathetic mentor who supports youth and parents who are in thrall to this “brutal addiction.” (800) 937-4113, http://www.fanlight.com.