This is such an excellent film from legendary documentarian Jon Alpert. Released in 1989 the documentary follows the lives of several people living lives of crime and drugs. Though it looks a bit dated, since it was filmed around 30 years ago, the sad truth is the stories are as relevant now as they were then.
These are people mostly shoplifting and getting high on heroin and cocaine. Seemingly born to lose, we watch from a very intimate view as they start off young and cocky and as things spiral out of control. The desperation and addictions are very upsetting to witness.
The subjects of the film, with one notable exception, are really very likable at their best and I found myself rooting for them to clean up their acts. Of course, easier said than done, and we get a glimpse of the helplessness that hits once you cross a certain line in society. It's extremely difficult to walk it back.
Having known and cared about people like this in my life I had a hard time watching some of it. It's stunningly honest and the filmmaker had an incredible amount of access to these people's lives. While pretty much a downer, I think this is a must watch movie. As I mentioned, the story is still all to familiar as we move towards the end of 2018.
Part 2 is below and the whole thing runs about 3 hours but believe me, like life, it flies by.