Coming to VOD today, Tuesday, January 20: THE FIX
Laura Naylor’s portrait of recovery debuted at the Soho International Film Festival last year. It went on to screen at AFI Docs and Heartland, as well as festivals in Maine, Flagstaff, and the Bronx.
Naylor’s film is largely set at a Bronx methadone clinic which offers counseling and other programs to help recovering addicts like the protagonist, Junior, manage not only their struggles with heroin, but its consequences – in this case, living with Hepatitis C. Having spent most of his adult years trying to escape life through drugs, a path that cost him custody of his first daughter, he’s now committed to forging a new future by staying clean and getting his new family out of shelter life. Emboldened by his experiences at the clinic working as a peer educator, Junior thrives in a storytelling workshop organized by The Moth, sharing his story publicly to help others make better choices, and, eventually taking steps to repair the rift between his estranged daughter and himself. Naylor has identified an appealing main subject in Junior, a flawed figure who owns up to past mistakes and is still in the process of atoning for them. One wishes he always remained the center of the narrative, however, as occasional digressions with other recovering addicts feel like interruptions, and detract from Junior’s simple, but effective story. Also serving as distractions are the overemphatic score and a tendency toward montages, which make the film feel longer than it is. Still, when centered on Junior’s hopeful but cautious story of redemption, Naylor’s film succeeds far more often than it doesn’t.