An extraordinary look at two years in the lives of five young heroin addicts, BLACK TAR HEROIN: THE DARK END OF THE STREET offers a rare and intimate portrait of how heroin devastates young lives. The film chronicles the daily lives of Jake, Jessica, Tracey, Oreo and Alice, three young women and two young men, ages 18 to 25, as they face the ever-present perils of hard core drug addiction — crime, prostitution, rape, incarceration, AIDS, overdoses and death.
The film shows the brutality and degradation of the drug life, but also depicts the addicts' pain and raw yearning — to get clean, to hold relationships together, to re-connect with their families, to get their lives back.
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, with associate producer and sound recordist Jason Cohen, spent more than two years in San Francisco's drug underworld, recording the stories of the city's young addicts. Using mostly hand-held camerawork, often working without electricity — lighting with camping lanterns, flashlights and candles — they unflinchingly capture the harsh realities as well as the human side of the addicts' desperate world.