Heaven Knows What

A young heroin addict roams the streets of New York to panhandle and get her next fix, while her unstable boyfriend drifts in and out of her life at random.

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  • ★★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd

    Someday, I'll write about this "film."

    Someday, I'll write an actual review;

    a long, and hopefully well constructed one,

    voicing my thoughts on its replication of reality.

    For now though, it's much too raw, much too close of a memory.

    I never thought that I would actually see my friends again:

    the ones who died, the ones who I lost to chemicals,

    to impulsivity,

    to dependence,

    to attempts at escape.

    Never knowing what they were risking,

    the hurt they would cause,

    the sadness that would spawn from their whitening faces,

    their lack of blood flow, their ends.

    Heaven knows what?

    Heaven knows nothing.

    This "film" is no film at all.

    It's a mirror, and I want to break it,

    so that I never have to look into it again.

    Never see their faces or hear their shouts,

    their reminders of what is black and can never be fought.

  • ★★★★★ review by Gustaf Ottosson on Letterboxd

    Nr 10 on All Films I Saw 2015 (Ranked)

    Part of the Stockholm Film Festival 2014

    That Heaven Knows What currently holds a 5,8 score on imdb is a total joke. This is the most gut punching, authentic and realistic account of homeless, hardcore drug addicted young people that you're ever going to see.

    The acting performances are flawless and I wonder how they can portray the broken lives so accurately, without being addicts themselves. This goes for the whole ensemble. Especially Arielle Holmes shines bright in the lead role.

    Don't watch this movie and expect a linear storyline with a resolution, as Heaven Knows What merely offers a glimpse into a world most people will never know.

    The film is brilliantly scored, with eerie and haunting electronic music, that accentuates the, already, hard to watch scenes.

    Currently holds the nr 4 spot on the ranking of movies I've seen this year (roughly 500).

    See it!

  • ★★★★½ review by Blain LaMotta on Letterboxd

    Drugs are destroyers of all that is sensible. They expose weakness and infect everything you hold dear. That doesn't mean they can't be a learning experience however, especially if they can inspire cinema this raw and electrifying. The path toward understanding can eventually lead to change, but you have to get your hands dirty first. Heaven Knows What is such an increasingly grimy experience, that it is hard to shake or even accept at first. It blurs the lines between reality and fiction with such acute precision, that you feel as though you lived it. Arielle Holmes, in a performance of astonishing emotional complexity, draws from her own personal hell in order to evoke the authentic feeling of being trapped by that which you love. When you are trapped, you are stripped of all control. It is that sensation of helplessness that the Safdies evoke with compassion and shocking gravity. The restrictive camerawork, probing synth, and seedy milieu of New York City helps compound that atmosphere to the point of suffocation. The relief is that we can escape at any point relatively unscathed. Others are not so lucky.

  • ★★★★ review by Killian on Letterboxd

    You’ve heard of Heaven Knows What, now get ready for Heaven did THAT

  • ★★★★ review by Matt Singer on Letterboxd

    The word "unflinching" comes to mind. And feels kind of inadequate.

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