Ondi Timoner has been a fixture of American documentary filmmaking since 2003, when her debut feature “Dig!” put her on par with the rock stars she followed for the genre-smashing music documentary. “Dig!” took home Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 2003, a distinction Timoner earned again for her 2009 film “We Live in Public,” making her the only filmmaker to have won the prize twice. Both works were recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent film collection.
For her latest film, “Coming Clean,” Timoner takes on America’s raging opioid crisis, in a holistic look at addiction and recovery that focuses on human connection. IndieWire is debuting the trailer exclusively ahead of the film’s Thursday premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis: ‘Coming Clean’ examines America’s opioid crisis through the eyes of the recovering addicts and political leaders on the frontlines. The film follows addicts in recovery as they form alliances with policymakers to disrupt the stigma and impact laws and industries to bring necessary change in their communities. The film follows these subjects while exploring the origins of the greatest drug crisis in our history and uncovering innovative solutions. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened factors that contribute to the opioid crisis making action and community mobilization more urgent than ever. Authorities nationwide are reporting a significant surge in fatal opioid overdoses and ‘Coming Clean’ can hopefully reach, educate and inspire those who need it most, at a time where connections with others couldn’t be more pertinent.”
In an official statement, Timoner shared some of her motivations for making the film: “I was compelled to make ‘Coming Clean’ to bring hope and solutions for our recovery to the overwhelmingly dark subject of opioid addiction, which is the deadliest drug epidemic in history. … In order to bring empathy to this highly stigmatized subject, we set out to explore the sources of the pain we’re medicating and follow empowering stories of personal connection over several years, where our characters shed the stigma and personal shame to unite against the monster drug of dependency, and impact policy on the national stage.”
“Coming Clean” will make its world premiere in documentary competition at the Bentonville Film Festival on Thursday, August 13. The virtual premiere will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom with Timoner and the film’s subjects. “Coming Clean” is seeking distribution at the festival.
Check out the first trailer for “Coming Clean” below, exclusively on IndieWire.
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