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'The Fix' is a documentary about heroin addicts helping each other get better

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"The Fix" is a tale of recovery and redemption by filmmaker Laura Naylor who agreed to an exclusive interview for the Examiner. The movie looks at the lives of heroin addicts in the Bronx. The main character is Junior, a 34-year-old father plagued by regret but determined to turn his life around.

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Junior spent years destroying himself with heroin and like all drug addicts, he never meant for things to run amok but they did. His life took disastrous turns including not being there for his first daughter. Tears well up whenever he talks about how he let that relationship slip through his needle-marked arms. His remorse is palpable and he seems to use it as fuel to feed his determination to be a good father. He has another daughter and he is trying to make a good life for the little girl and her mother.

As is common with so many heroin addicts, Junior caught hepatitis C by sharing a hypodermic needle with another drug user who was infected with the potentially fatal virus.

Naylor's film shows Junior, along with a community of other recovering drug addicts, learning about hep C and how to take care of themselves and they're all working at staying clean through the help of innovative programs at a methadone clinic in the Bronx.

Examiner Dorri Olds sat down for a chat with Naylor on Mon., May 19, the same day of the 9 p.m. showing of “The Fix” at the SOHO International Film Festival at Village East Cinema, 189 Second Avenue at East 12th Street. Naylor said a few tickets are still available for the Wed., May 21 5:45 p.m. showing but they’re going fast. For additional screenings here in New York check the website listings. In September there will be a Bronx premiere at the Lovinger Theater on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. and the Reel Recovery Film Festival which runs from September 26 to October 2, 2014 at the Quad Cinema, 13 West 13th Street, New York City.

Dorri Olds: Are you yourself in recovery? Is that okay to ask?

Laura Naylor: Yes, it’s okay to ask and no, I’m not but someone very dear to me is a recovering heroin addict.

Is that what sparked your interest in doing the film?

Yes, absolutely, and I also had a friend who is a methadone counselor where I filmed. He introduced me to that community and I was able to sit in on groups at the methadone clinic before I started filming. It was there that I discovered the story that I wanted to tell which was about recovering addicts engaged in advocacy around hepatitis C.

Your movie seemed to focus on the positive aspects of recovery rather than the dark sides of addiction. Would you say that’s true?

Absolutely, I know addiction is a disease and there have been many documentaries on the topic but many of the ones I’ve seen are scary and people recoil. I wanted to do something different where I opened up the world of drug users and showed that these are people like you and me and they are able to recovery, not all the time and there are tragedies but I find it very inspiring to look at people who are turning their lives around.

To read the rest of the interview please view the slideshow.

"The Fix" is a drama and documentary. Not rated. 70 minutes.