Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Over the GW|
Actors: Albert Insinnia, Kether Donohue, George Gallagher, Steve Stanulis, G.R. Johnson
Director: Nick Gaglia
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Vanguard Cinema Release Date: 11/25/2008 Run time: 78 minutes Rating: Nr
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Another Grey World
D. Mills | Silly Valley, CA | 05/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Over the GW' refers, of course, to the George Washington Bridge. This is an urban film very much in a New York state of mind. The less-than-glamorous workaday world of northern New Jersey and New York City is rough enough as it is. Add a addiction problem and an unlicensed treatment facility drawing Medicaid funds to practically imprison young addicts for years at a stretch, and you've got the makings of an excellent, uncompromising indie film.
Based on real-life experiences of the director (a former addict), and his sister, who later joins him in this quasi-prison, we're privy to day-to-day life of odd encounter groups, Gestapo-like staff, and a creepy, abrasive psychologist meting out 'treatment'.
According to the director, the movie is actually a toned-down version of the goings-on in this facility. After you watch this, you can imagine what true-life higher voltage reality was. They get a couple of important things right: for one, while the story draws from the director's life, it is not meant to be autobiographical, so the subject matter becomes depersonalized and more effective. Second, the cinematography is excellent, the shots seem designed to throw the viewer just a bit off, keeping things out of reach. Filmed entirely in winter, it's like a glass of cold water, inside and out.
The director pulled his cast from a pool of local talent. They're good enough to seem real, but not so polished that it detracts from the documetary style and feel. They could be your brothers, sisters or friends.
According to the commentary track, this film lead to an ongoing investigation of treatment facilities in the New York area.