Posted by Larry Geeson
Shooting Heroin, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in North America, tells the story of a young man, portrayed by Alan Powell, returning home from three overseas tours while surviving two divorces. Meanwhile, the heroin epidemic has embedded itself inside his hometown, a typical rural community, Whispering Pines. Shooting Heroin weaves a faith-based narrative into a typical rural setting with grace and eloquence.
Utilizing some excellent technical filmmaking techniques through the use of point-of-view shots coupled with longer takes and a nuanced editing pace, Director and Producer Spencer Folmar, himself a small theatre chain operator and distributor through his company Veritas Films, flashes his filmmaking chops. In addition, the cinematography is eye-pleasing with sweeping opening landscape shots along with adept use of lens selections. Furthermore, an attractive cast augments the aesthetics. Sound and music tracks complement rather than overwhelm. The strength of musical talent is formidable.
Moreover, I discovered varied and sundry cinematic influences ranging from the hot Netflix docuseries, The Pharmacist through the award-winning 2011 Winters Bone into Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven and as far back as the original 1934 Frankenstein. Suffice to say these filmmakers are no slouches.
Most interesting was the understated role of the “girl next door” character, portrayed by Rachel Hendrix. Grounded in the present and an unfaltering belief in the power of redemptive salvation, Hendrix’s character makes the narrative credible and ultimately believable. Her taped interview is a personal revelation unto itself. Tune in, turn on, and carry the torch to undo the scourge of heroin in your community. You’ll be glad you did!
Originally set for an initial limited theatrical release in cities across North America, Shooting Heroin, has repeatedly pivoted to reach its audience in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Following the cancellation of its Los Angeles premiere and party, the producers have organized a LIVE, digital red carpet premiere for opening day, taking place on Zoom from 2:30-3:30PM Friday, April 3 with numerous cast and crew in attendance online for media to meet and interact with. Further, they’ve made all the on-set interview footage and clips available to the media and the public to edit and broadcast to their taste. Those are available here:
SHOOTING HEROIN moved to video-on-demand and pay-per-view platforms following the shutdown of almost all movie theatres nationally during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The film had also been set to premiere at three film festivals in Northern New Jersey, Dallas, and Los Angeles–two were canceled. The third, the Garden State Film Festival, went online, premiered the film Saturday, March 28 and hosted an online Q&A following the screening with dozens of guests; the film captured a Best Supporting Actor Award for Garry Pastore.