METH STORM was very well-received in its world premiere at Austin'S SXSW Film Festival. This is a powerful film about what addiction to this awful drug can do a family and a community - in this case, Faulkner County, Arkansas. The film makers spent a long time in the community and got to know some of the individuals well which allowed them to get remarkable and up close footage including film of people shooting up on meth. (This takes up well-beyond the romanticized and action-packed version of Meth seen on Breaking Bad.) While much of the blame for their bad choices can be placed on the individuals, it can also be blamed on the failures of government to provide these families jobs, educational opportunity, health care, and any sort of accessible drug treatment. The society has failed these families whose only real opportunity is the black market drug trade. The only governmental response is in law enforcement, but that seems to be utter and complete failure as well. The close-up view of the crisis is overwhelming. The mother tries to get her kids to quit drugs while failing to confront her own long-term addiction. The squalid conditions in which they live are heart-breaking. The ruined lives and the young kids that seem to have little more to look forward to are simply devastating to observe. The DEA agent attempts to arrest small-time dealers in hopes of breaking the drug ring and catching the Mexican source without seeming to realize that they are chasing shadows. They don't seem to realize that they can never win by prosecuting the demand side of the equation. This powerful film certainly raises more questions that it answers (much like the Michael Douglas film Traffic a generation ago). It has been picked up by HBO Films which should provide it with a well-deserved wider audience.
[HBO] HD. This documentary looks at meth addiction in rural America from the perspective of dealers, users and law enforcement.
February 27, 2021