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Streaming video
Author Fruchtman, Rob

Title Sister Helen / by Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa
Published New York, NY : Filmakers Library, 2002


Description 1 online resource (60 min.)
Series Filmakers Library online
Summary Sister Helen, a tough, 69-year-old Benedictine nun, runs the Travis Center, a clean and sober halfway house for recovering addicts and ex-convicts in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx, New York. Mott Haven is the poorest congressional district in the nation, where extreme poverty, unemployment, drug abuse and crime have a distinct daily presence. The number of social service agencies set up to help the drug and alcohol-dependent in this community continues to be far too few to meet its rising demand. She lives with 21 men of mixed race and economic backgrounds who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or both. She runs a tough place. The rules include: required attendance at group meetings, random and humiliating urine samples, strict curfews, no lying, and any other thing Sister Helen wants when she wants it. She loves life and is often funny, but she is always on guard, trying to catch mistakes before they happen. She takes little chaff from the residents, frequently threatening to boot them out. Sister Helen's tragic past holds the key to her present life and mission. Haunted by her own decades-long struggle with alcoholism and a string of tragic personal losses, including the violent murder of her 15 year-old son and the alcohol and drug-related deaths of her husband and second son, Sister Helen overcame her own alcoholism and established the center in 1989
Audience For College; Adult audiences
Notes English
Documentary Directing Award, Sundance Film Festival, 2002
Golden Hugo Award, Chicago International Film Festival, 2002
Nomination, Outstanding Directorial Achievement, Directors Guild of America, 2003
Print version record
Subject Benedictine nuns -- New York (State) -- New York
Halfway houses -- New York (State) -- New York
Recovering addicts -- New York (State) -- New York
Benedictine nuns.
Halfway houses.
Recovering addicts.
Social conditions.
Mott Haven (New York, N.Y.) -- Social conditions
New York (State) -- New York.
New York (State) -- New York -- Mott Haven.
Genre/Form Documentary
Form Streaming video
Author Cammisa, Rebecca