A Wave of Compassion| 47mins
Director: Jody McNicholas | Producer: Jody McNicholas
Focus Years: 2006 | Country: United States
"A Wave of Compassion", an in-depth documentary film that explores the epidemic of addiction from an intriguing range of unconventional perspectives. "A Wave of Compassion" is a visually captivating and emotionally honest portrait of addiction that differs perceptively from the usual moralizing or clinical approaches. At times humorous, at times surprising, at times revelatory, "A Wave of Compassion" looks beyond stereotypes at the many faces of addiction.
What is it like to be a "functioning alcoholic"? How does it feel to know you are in the throes of an addiction and to be resigned to it, perhaps even fond of it? What are the factors that keep recovering addicts from recovering? These are questions "A Wave of Compassion" explores. At the center of the film is Jimmy, a 41-year-old surfer who has been drinking since the age of 13. He has tried almost every form of treatment there is, so far with little success. His honesty sets the tone for the film, and the resilience of his addiction sets its challenge. He is one voice, one portrait, in interspersed with the insights and perspectives of those who have effectively overcome addiction and/or helped others to do so. "A Wave of Compassion" features interviews with Lench Archuleta, a Yaqui shaman, Daniel Peralta, a spiritual counselor at a Hawaii state prison, Wendi Fox, a stand-up comedian, and many other voices of personal experience. These interviews, which are presented as flashes of insight take us beyond rehearsed, outdated beliefs that demonize addicts. "A Wave of Compassion"'s mission is to free the moral judgment placed on individuals with addictions and to explore the reality that deeper understanding, as well as compassion, are needed in the way our society constructs and addresses addiction.
The film's montage editing style keeps its viewers engaged experientially with the reality that there is no one answer. "A Wave of Compassion" is not advocating a solution; it is opening up our vision. With the help of an emotionally rich musical score, it suggestively depicts the many complex attitudes our culture supports about addictive lifestyles. "A Wave of Compassion" compels the audience to reconsider everything we have been told about addiction and its treatment.
"A Wave of Compassion" will open your mind and heart to the human face of addiction.
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