THE FIX, a new documentary exploring life after heroin addiction in the Bronx, will have its world premiere at the SOHO International Film Festival on May 19.
Directed by Laura Naylor (Duck Beach to Eternity), THE FIX follows Junior, a young father trying to turn his life around after years of heroin addiction, as he joins forces with a group of fellow hepatitis-C-infected former users in the Bronx to fight the disease in their community. Knitting personal narratives together with a profile of innovative programs at a methadone clinic, the film explores the concept of storytelling as an instrument of change and gives a powerful voice to marginalized members of society.
Junior lives in a homeless shelter with his wife and young daughter and has recently gotten clean after 20 years of addiction, jail, and violence. Like most injection drug users, Junior has contracted hepatitis C, a chronic disease that will, left untreated, cut short his life. Traumatized by his past but determined to change, he seeks treatment for his addiction at a methadone clinic in the Bronx, where he is offered a grueling, year-long hepatitis C treatment that could potentially save his life.
We learn that Junior has not seen his oldest daughter in ten years, having lost custody of her because of his heroin addiction. Overcome with guilt and regret, he is now determined not to repeat history with his second child. Despite severe side effects from the treatment, he pushes forward.
Gradually gaining momentum in his recovery, Junior trains as a peer educator at his clinic and joins forces with other former junkies to fight the hepatitis C epidemic in the Bronx. Charged with helping other addicts, Junior and the others begin to feel a sense of purpose in their own lives.
As part of their training, the peer educators participate in a storytelling workshop conducted by The Moth, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to the art of telling true stories live. Junior finds his voice and begins to transform into a powerful leader and storyteller. In the face of treatment-induced memory loss and a fear of failure, he takes to the stage at events from downtown Manhattan to Governor’s Hall at the New York State capitol.
With a sense of spiritual and physical renewal, Junior improbably reunites with his first daughter and vows to be the positive paternal presence his family needs going forward. Because of his hepatitis C cure, he now has the time that he needs.
The SOHO International Film Festival runs May 15 to 22, 2014 at Village East Cinemas in New York City.