Free screening of ‘The Hungry Heart’

Apr 23, 2014
Dustin, a recovering addict, walks through a field in a scene from “The Hungry Heart.”

Belfast — Seaport Community Health Center and the Colonial Theatre are sponsoring a free one-night-only showing of the documentary film “The Hungry Heart” Tuesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the Colonial, 156 High St.

Documentary film maker Bess O’Brien, who co-founded Kingdom County Productions in St. Johnsbury, Vt., with her husband, film director Jay Craven, has focused her work on social issues that affect Vermont — not the leaf-peeping, covered bridge, cows-in-the-pasture Vermont, but a state that experiences the same kinds of ills as any other state. “The Hungry Heart” looks at the prevalence of opiate addiction in rural and urban communities within the state. Through moving interviews with people who are or have been addicted, as well as their families, and the doctors and social workers who treat them, O’Brien traces the destructive influence of addiction on people’s lives.

This film provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of addiction and recovery and the many challenges patients, treatment providers and a community face in confronting a relentless and difficult disease. It shines a light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many young addicts yearn for, but do not have in their lives. Filmed in St. Albans, Vt., the stories and demographics are similar to those of Belfast.

O’Brien is the director/producer of numerous award-winning documentary films and also is the director/producer of the highly acclaimed feature film “Shout it Out,” based on the lives of Vermont teens and the original Voices Project live musical. She co-produced the feature films “Where the Rivers Flow North” starring Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal and Michael J. Fox; and “A Stranger in the Kingdom,” starring Ernie Hudson and Martin Sheen.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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