No film, narrative or documentary, goes as deeply inside the world of heroin addiction as BLACK TAR HEROIN: THE DARK END OF THE STREET. An extraordinary look at two years in the lives of five heroin addicts, it offers a raw and intimate portrait of how heroin devastates young lives. The film chronicles the daily lives of Jake, Jessica, Tracey, Oreo and Alice, three women and two men, ages 18 to 25, as they face the ever-present perils of hard core drug addiction — crime, prostitution, rape, incarceration, AIDS, overdoses and death.
The film, which Documentary Vine calls "probably the best made heroin documentary in history," shows the brutality and degradation of the drug life, but also depicts the addicts' pain and raw yearning — to get clean, to hold relationships together, to re-connect with their families, to get their lives back.
Filmmaker Steven Okazaki, with Jason Cohen (associate producer and sound recordist) and Ashley Craddock (associate producer), spent more than two years in San Francisco's drug underworld, recording the stories of the city's young addicts. One of the great cinema-verite films -- shot mostly with hand-held cameras, often lighting with camping lanterns, flashlights and candles — they unflinchingly captured the harsh realities as well as the human side of the addicts' desperate world.
Features original music by Will Bernard and songs by Cat Power, Ovarian Trolley, Tanya Donelly, Mr. T Experience, Team Dresch, Varnaline, Space Needle and Eve Bekker.
A HOME BOX OFFICE ORIGINAL PRESENTATION
Produced in association with
TAPESTRY INTERNATIONAL and IMAGINEER CO., LTD.
Additional funding provided by
WALLACE ALEXANDER GERBODE FOUNDATION
FLEISCHHACKER FOUNDATION1999 / Documentary / 75 Minutes