—01. Theatrical poster.
—02. Arielle Holmes.
Directed by brothers Benny and Josh Safdie, Heaven Knows What is a brutally honest look at the lives of young and homeless heroin addicts living among the affluent residents of Manhattan's Upper West Side. Having originally met the film's lead, Arielle Holmes, while researching another project, the pair encouraged her to write a memoir based on her life on the streets. Josh and Ronald Bronstein (who starred in the brothers' previous picture Daddy Longlegs) wrote a script based on her writings, while Benny edited the film alongside the latter. It was shot by Sean Price Williams, whose sparse and distant cinematography, employing long lenses and views across streets and down from rooftops, lends the film a lifelike, documentary quality. Having already had significant success on the festival circuit, Heaven Knows What has been met with high critical praise, including a piece in the New York Times, that's linked below. It opens this weekend in both New York and LA for a limited engagement, before a nationwide release shortly thereafter. If you happen to be in either city, and find the sun too bright, and the vibes too positive, I'd highly recommend taking in a wintery view of one of the darker sides of street and city life.