High On Crack Street

Maryann DeLeo

High On Crack Street is an award-winning documentary film that inspired the Oscar-winning film, The Fighter, starring Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg.

Once a thriving manufacturing center, Lowell, MA provides a case study in the painful aftermath of the industrial collapse.

The documentary follows the lives of three long-time Lowell residents, Boo Boo, Brenda, and former professional boxer Dicky Eklund. The film goes inside the lives of the three addicts, following their daily exploits to get high, moving in and out of crack houses, rehab centers, and jail, their struggle for survival mirrors their hometown’s fate.

High On Crack Street details the reasons behind their addiction: their aspirations, why they do drugs and why they don’t quit. Featuring interviews with family members, friends, and members of the public, discussing how drugs have destroyed the lives of the addicts.

Brenda, a prostitute, becomes pregnant and contemplates an abortion but has to “hook” to pay for the abortion. Whenever she earns enough money, she blows it on drugs instead of getting the $395 abortion. The father could be her on-again-off-again boyfriend Mike or the father may, in fact, be Boo Boo.

Brenda also attempts detox rehab for the baby, but after talking to her parents decides to abort, then do a detox, then to go back home. She loses the will to complete the program, as she had six times before.

Dicky, the older brother of Micky Ward, is a boxer who had at one time fought Sugar Ray Leonard, losing by decision after ten rounds and attempted to make a comeback. As he tries to prevent his habit – and the crimes he commits to feed it – from destroying his life, he has never stayed clean for long and ends up arrested on multiple violent charges.

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