World Premiere at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.

Independent Film Festival of Boston Official Selection

In attendance: Directors Bestor Cram & Jenny Phillips, and Writer/Editor Andy Kukura

Massachusetts and the country as a whole have been ravaged by an opioid-addiction epidemic that killed more than 1,000 people in 2014 alone. Against this backdrop, the media has frequently focused on those suffering the throes of the disease. Less often does the spotlight shine on recovery–that long, arduous road to getting clean.

Filmed largely in Lowell and Lawrence over four years, BEYOND THE WALL is a raw and honest chronicle of one man’s efforts to help former convicts stay on the straight and narrow, away from the needle that sent them spiraling into prison. The film premieres this year alongside IFFBoston’s 20th-anniversary screening of the seminal addiction documentary HIGH ON CRACK STREET: LOST LIVES IN LOWELL. When viewed together, the films may paint a seemingly grim portrait of a city consumed by drugs, essentially unchanged by the passing decades.

Indeed, BEYOND THE WALL captures the Bay State mill towns’ state of savage disrepair–but through a lens of hope. Filmmaker Bestor Cram (JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON, IFFBoston 2009) honors the fire within individuals to fight what often feels like an unwinnable battle.

–Brad Avery

Independent Film Festival of Boston
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