Harley (Arielle Holmes) is madly in love with Ilya (Caleb Landry Jones). She’s sure he loves her just as much, if only he could express it. Both of them are heroin addicts, kids who pretend to be heavy-metal rockers but spend their time scuffling, arguing and preying on each other as they  wander around New York looking for a fix and the chump change to pay for it.

The script, based on a Holmes’ memoir and written by the Safdies with Ronald Bronstein, is a miracle of economy. Sean Price Williams’ cinematography expresses the clouded vision of kids who can’t imagine how invisible they are to the New Yorkers who take their homes and jobs for granted. And the Safdie brothers (The Pleasure of Being Robbed), in their toughest and richest movie, direct a cast composed largely of first-time actors so that they disappear into their characters, horrify us and break our hearts.

New York Film Festival


Please note that the festival is for over 18s only