Slamdance 2024 doc INHERITANCE is an unfiltered look at one Appalachian family’s struggle with generational addiction. The rippling effects of drugs directly connect to cyclical poverty. They are a part of the culture. We see children who look as young as ten years old smoke cigarettes with the nonchalance of chewing gum. Young girls get pregnant at a rate that becoming a great-grandmother is normal if you survive the world of opioids. Filmmakers Matt Moyer and Amy Toensing hang their hats on 12-year-old Curtis, a hopeful, bright, and spunky in hopes of making a better life through all the inevitable chaos.
We witness the tragic evolution of Curtis’ extended family through intimate sit-downs with family members, sharing their darkest secrets without a moment of hesitation. Their goal is equal parts redemption and cathartic confession. Some family members try harder than others, though the dark thoughts never leave. Religion lands somewhere between true belief and crutch. Mostly, the latter.
Seeing his parents’ toxic relationship play out as they chase their next score is brutal. Curtis knows nothing good comes from their behavior. What makes it worse is Curtis is a joyous and pure soul. He grins and bares the trauma that swirls around him. You want to reach through the screen and rescue him as he recounts his numerous stays in foster care. As the years roll on, you see the cynicism creeping into his personality.
Thoughtful closeups and the hauntingly beautiful score create heartwrenching transitions. Moyer and Toensing try to offer moments of childhood levity featuring Curtis and his siblings playing with poppers, water guns, and video games, but lurking in the background is the reality of parents severely impaired by drugs. Inheritance breaks your heart. A six-year journey down a rabbit hole of repeated histories. Is Curtis the best bet to break the cycle? One can only hope.
INHERITANCE explores the underlying causes of the opioid epidemic in America through the life of one boy and five generations of his extended family over 11 years. Curtis, a bright and hopeful boy, grows up from age 12 to 18 surrounded by love and struggle while every adult in his family – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — battles addiction. Curtis’ America is an America where people and communities are struggling with an epidemic of substance abuse, joblessness, and a deteriorating sense of belonging.
Official Film Website: https://www.
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PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
MATT MOYER and AMY TOENSING
CURTIS WHITEAR and MATT MOYER and AMY TOENSING
KYLE SCOTT WILSON
MORGAN PEHME and DANIEL DiMAURO
ERIK and LESLIE HEYER
DAVE A. LIU
AUDIO POST PRODUCTION
HEART PUNCH STUDIOS
SOUND DESIGN / RE-RECORDING MIX BY
POST PRODUCTION FINISHING BY
SEE WHY COLOR
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