Reel Recovery Film Festival
The Secret World of Recovery

USA 2011.  Director: Leslie Glass

Date and Venue 20 October 2012 | District 319

This is an ambitious first documentary produced by Leslie and Lindsey Glass, a mother-daughter team in long term recovery.  It was their intent to show the many pathways to recovery by visiting different recovery and treatment centers across the states, including some unique programs in prisons.   

The documentary is a visual tool for those struggling with addiction or recovery, with many powerful images and stories that were deeply moving. The film makers interviewed dozens of men and women who facilitated recovery programs or were in long-term recovery, revealing some insight into the process of recovery.  

However, I would have liked the film makers to stay with some of their subjects longer, to go deeper, and reveal a fuller picture of their stories.  There were moments in the film that felt like a collection of sound bites, feel-good phrases about recovery that did not add to a deeper understanding of the process of recovery.  

At times the interviews were difficult to follow, because of the brevity of the conversation and because of the production value.  I would have liked to have seen a more professionally edited film that reduced both the shakiness of the camera and enhanced the overall sound quality.

© 2012 Shannon Rayne