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photo The Gospel According to Mr. Allen
By Edward Rosenstein
Narrated by Ossie Davis

Famed for its tough-love staff, as well as for its Gospel Choir, the Addicts Rehabilitation Center in Harlem has set a high standard in substance abuse treatment for more than four decades. When it was opened by James Allen, in the center of some of America's meanest streets, the ARC was New York State's first residential treatment center for addicts without money.

Forty-three years later it is still embattled, but the doors are still open and, to date, over 30,000 troubled people have been welcomed through them. Under Allen's inspirational leadership, its staff struggle to give addicts a sense of dignity and hope. They never give up.

This hard hitting but compassionate video follows three addicts through several months in the Addicts Rehabilitation Center, as they try to break the harsh grip of drugs. Peter wants to stay out of jail. Michelle would like to get her children back. And Brett hopes for a record contract. Can any of them really make it? Can the battle against poverty, hopelessness and addiction ever be won? Their stories will surprise you.

DVD version has both closed-captions and audio description.

52 minutes
© 2000
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-319
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-994-0
close captioned

"The film allows viewers to see the process of rehabilitation both from the standpoints of the addicts and of those who treat them." MC Journal

"Absorbing and gritty, this documentary has plot, suspense and characters more compelling than any fiction film. It explores issues beyond how addictions affect the addicts, to show how addictions also affect their families." Doubletake Documentary Film Festival

"Rosenstein avoids the cliches of redemption narratives by never disclosing the fate of the addicts. The film ends on the same high note with which it begins, as the choir sings of redemption from drugs, Mr. Allen conducting their hallelujahs." Mother Jones Magazine

Awards & Conference Screenings
Audience Award, Doubletake DocumentaryFestival
First Place, Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival
Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco International
Honorable Mention, Big Muddy Film Festival
CINE Golden Eagle

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Awards & Screenings

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Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website