What is addiction? What is co-dependency? How are the two related? Can love survive in the midst of such things?
Lake Highlands filmmaker Kurt Neale is known to explore difficult topics, often as they relate to religion, but in an exploratory rather than preachy sort of way (it seems; I have only seen the trailers at this point, and I have not interviewed the man, yet, although I plan to). “I was drawn to the world of addiction because of a national epidemic,” Neale explains in a Vimeo video. He later discovered his own son was dealing with addiction, he says.
His latest full length documentary, ASK, premieres March 4 at the Texas Theater in Oak Cliff. Tickets for shows at 3 and 6 p.m. are free but must be reserved in advance.
“My state without drugs is restless, irritable and discontent,” says one subject in the movie, “so I started to use everyday. When I tried to stop I returned to that state …”
“When I realized my son was an addict,” says another woman, “I realized how co-dependent I was.”
Addiction and co-dependency are two sides of the same coin, explains an expert. The co-dependent becomes as dependent on the addict as the addict is on the drug.
“The difference between co-dependency and love? Co-dependency feeds me. Love feeds you,” another explains.
ASK, according to the filmmaker, “is an exploration of alcoholism, drug addiction, and co-dependency. The documentary explains these topics in a way not seen before. At 1 hour, 20 minutes, ASK explores real issues through real people’s stories, and provides clear cut hope and direction … [it’s] designed to attract addicts and co-dependents alike to consider the state of their relationships as it relates to love.
“The film and production process is designed to attract, rather than promote,” note the producers on a Facebook page dedicated to the movie. That wording happens to come directly from the traditions of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Following the premiere, the movie will be available to watch free of charge online.
Neale’s previous project, Compelling Love and Sexual Identity, already is available to watch online at compellinglove.com. “Our hope for this film is to see people connect with each other — despite their differences — at a level beyond mere tolerance, honestly sharing their stories, their fears, and their hopes,” write the producers of Compelling Love.