Review: ‘American Relapse’ -The profitability of addiction.

Best Feature Documentary, Rhode Island International Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary, Alexandria Film Fest

MINT Spirit Award (Top Festival Prize), Montana International Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary, Laughlin International Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary, Mammoth Film Festival

Best Feature Documentary, Other Venice Film Festival

Social Awareness Award, Orlando Film Festival

Recovering addicts Frankie and Allie spend their lives helping other addicts, but can they stay clean themselves?

The profitability of the addicted. American Relapse is a creatively composed documentary about how it’s better business to keep addicts addicted than to help them. The film follows two former addicts turned advocates over a weekend in their lives and jobs. They fight their own urges while helping others in South Florida. The film explores how the system fails Americans. It’s a lovely balance of hope and despair with interviews from former and current victims. How does rehab help, if at all. Allie and Frankie do their research because they have been there. The editing, and this will sound strange, is super sexy. With infographics intercut with one hell of a soundtrack, it makes the film visually very appealing. The reality of where we are in terms of curing people is bleak. There is a 90% relapse rate in South Florida and that’s how the industry likes it. What is a Junkie Hunter? You’ll find out. The sicker people remain, the more money everyone earns… except the addicted individual. American Relapse is not sugar-coated and that’s the point.

AMERICAN RELAPSE tells the story of two people fighting to make a difference against the devastating heroin epidemic that’s spawning a billion-dollar treatment industry.  Against the odds, in an “Us vs. the World” mentality, two recovering addicts spend their lives pulling needles out of the arms of addicts and assist in placing them in reputable treatment facilities.  The film features Frankie and Allie who live and work in Delray Beach, Florida, the Rehab Capital of America, now referred to by some as the Relapse Capital of America. They allowed the film crew all access for one weekend. What transpires over 72 hours is not only captivating and raw, but a heartbreaking rollercoaster ride.

Frankie is 38 and has relapsed multiple times but continues to operate his F*ck Heroin Foundation with his mother. Allie is 28 and has been clean and sober for 10 years. While they are at different points on the recovery spectrum, they both share a deep belief in the 12th step: helping others. These unlikely and imperfect heroes opened their lives for the world to see, hoping to shine a light anywhere and any way they can. In the process, they show viewers and addicts alike that despite seemingly impossible odds and devastating damage, empathy and hope can restore a little bit of humanity to those who struggle and can sometimes save their lives.

AMERICAN RELAPSE is directed by Pat McGee and Adam Linkenhelt, and is produced by Pat McGee Pictures in association with Sorted Pictures and Next Up Productions.  Executive producers include Pat McGee and Stacy McPeak for Pat McGee Pictures, Ian and Jaime Manheimer of Next Up Productions and producers Terry Hahin and Adam Linkenhelt for sorted Pictures.  The film has a running time of 105 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA.

Pat McGee Pictures will release the film in Los Angeles and New York exclusively for one week beginning March 29.  The film will screen at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles and Cinema Village in New York City.

Gravitas Ventures will distribute the film on VOD beginning April 2nd. Among the many platforms include iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, and Amazon.

For more information, go to:


About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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