METH (Todd Ahlberg, U.S.). 79 minutes. May 27, 3 pm. Isabel Bader. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Todd Ahlberg 's doc about the rampant use of crystal meth in the gay community isn't easy watching. He interviews a dozen American men, most in their 30s or 40s, whose lives have spiralled out of control because of the substance known as Tina. Some have quit, most others want to quit, and a few probably never will.
Ahlberg stays off-camera and lets the guys talk freely, revealing how they first encountered the drug, describing the euphoric high (decreased inhibition, increased libido) and the subsequent wasted years spent trying to regain that high. It becomes clear how closely the drug is linked to self-esteem issues and increased cases of HIV infection. (Many of the interview-ees had unprotected anal sex while on meth.)
Ahlberg's subjects, from all across the States, give good quote. There's an elegiac quality to their confessions, tinged with gallows humour. Most moving of all is the motor-mouthed Arizona drug dealer and user who's so deep in denial he can barely finish a sentence without contradicting himself.
Not a rainbow-flag-waving kinda film, but a powerful cautionary document.