By Brian Bertoldo | September 13, 1999

Heroin is a documentary consisting of staged interviews and junk shooting sessions with a group of teenage and twenty-something addicts.
Too long and lacking any real depth, Heroin falls short of providing any informative insight into the film’s subjects or the nature of their addictive lifestyle. The viewer is not even introduced to the subjects. You have to try to learn their names through the course of the conversations. It’s hard to connect with the subjects, to care about their situation in any way, without giving a name to a face. The interviews appear to be completely unstructured and lack any real direction in terms of focusing on any of particular aspect of drug use and addiction.
The only running topic covered is how the subjects got started and why; that’s where it goes, for 112 minutes. Remarkably all of the subjects could recall the first time they tried heroin almost to the day. Almost all cite boredom, being some kind of victim or simply unable to cope with life as their reasons for doing heroin. Beyond that, you can occasionally get the sense that the filmmaker was trying to dig deeper but due to the informality of the interviews, it’s impossible to really learn much more than – poor me, I can’t deal with reality, let’s get high. Without any connection established with the subjects and the seemingly spectacle-like reason for the drug shooting sessions, Heroin proves that any meaningful attempt to explain addiction is best left to the professionals. As far as making a home movie about your friends sitting around talking about and doing drugs, 112 minutes is way too long. In fact it’s long enough to make anyone bored to the point of shooting up. Hey, where’s my kit?

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