In addition to being an interpersonal story, Four Good Days is a scathing indictment of drug companies and doctors’ offices and their role in the opioid crisis. It showcases the heartbreaking ravages of addiction in a way that hasn’t happened since Requiem For A Dream. Ben Is Back tells a similar story, but I feel like Four Good Days is much more in your face with its message. Molly has lost most of her teeth, has dark marks on her face, and, overall, pardon my french, looks like total s**t. This is what addicts look like when they’re in the thick of it, and director Rodrigo Garcia pulls no punches when telling us this story of addiction.
The other thing that is so impactful about Four Good Days is that it is based on a true story. Specifically, it came from a Washington Post article by Eli Saslow. It followed a mother and daughter through the horrifying battle of heroin addiction and how much of an emotional toll, it takes not just on the addict, but on everyone around them. If you’ve ever been around heroin addicts in real life, which I have, Garcia and his crew really show us as close to what a heroin addict looks and acts like outside of a documentary on the same subject.
If you ever have known someone who suffered from heroin addiction or battled addiction yourself, Four Good Days will hit uncomfortably close to home. All the ugly truths are laid bare for the rest of the world who has never seen it firsthand. It bears witness to the total tragedy of the disease and how it turns otherwise wonderful people into husks and shadows of their former selves. I have known several people who have suffered from this addiction. Some of whom made it out the other side and not only survived but are thriving, while others who didn’t make it out alive.
“…a scathing indictment of drug companies and doctors’ offices and their role in the opioid crisis.”
The most important message that Four Good Days can convey to people, especially young ones, is DON’T DO HEROIN! Yeah, sure, William S. Burroughs and Keith Richards and Kurt Cobain and all these cool people did it, but remember that almost none of those people came out of their dance with the devil unscathed. Let Four Good Days devastate you enough that you will never, ever consider getting involved with this horrifying drug. It has never been and never will be good for anyone. Furthermore, shame on the pharmaceutical industry for so aggressively pushing Oxycontin to doctors to prescribe. All that did was send countless people around the country into an addiction spiral.
I’m glad that everyone involved in the making of Four Good Days came together to tell this story because it’s one that needed to be told. It’s focus on an issue that desperately needs to be addressed by the powers that be make it all the more relevant. Let this film take one step closer to a change that should happen as soon as possible.
Four Good Days screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.