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1h 18m Documentary, Drama 2023

Director Melanie Manchot’s first feature has its roots in her work with a group of recovering addicts of various stripes. Manchot, perhaps better known as a visual artist, mixes participants from the group with professional actors, blurring fiction with reality for what is ultimately a powerful study of addiction. Stephen Giddings, one of the non-professionals, plays himself, or at least a version of himself, a man struggling with alcohol and gambling problems. He is also an aspiring actor hoping to win the lead in a film, portraying a man struggling with addictions that threaten everything he has achieved. Manchot’s labyrinthine layering of fact and fiction, of films-within-films is however, no mere academic exercise. The director handles the inherent sensitivities of her method with nuance and sympathy, creating an emotionally involving piece that proves gripping, compassionate viewing.


Melanie Manchot





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