On VOD: THE STAIRS

Coming to MUBI today, Thursday, August 9:
THE STAIRS

Director:
Hugh Gibson

Premiere:
Toronto 2016

Select Festivals:
Mar del Plata, Jeonju, Maryland

About:
An intimate portrait of drug addiction.

Over the course of five years, Gibson profiles three individuals who are in recovery, but always contending with their drug addictions. Roxanne details harrowing episodes from her time as a sex worker and worries about the impact of her addiction on her son, Greg still struggles with crack even as he seeks justice for a case of police brutality during an arrest, and Marty, the most talkative of Gibson’s subjects, shares all sorts of stories, including one about an altercation that threatens the progress he’s made in working in harm reduction programs to help other addicts. Shot in a decidedly no-frills style, focused on talking heads telling often too long stories, there’s a rough, almost old-fashioned feel to Gibson’s project that suggests it could have benefited from some tightening. At the same time, this looseness perhaps encourages the deep intimacy that’s achieved with his subjects, an intimacy that’s reflected in the candor they share with the filmmaker and which ultimately proves so compelling for the viewer.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Recommendations, Releases

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