Methamphetamine addiction came into the spotlight recently with the TV show, Breaking Bad. Now, a Fort Lauderdale native is returning to his hometown to premiere his first film about the subject.
Writer-Director Tony Glazer says when he first started his research for the script in 2005, he was surprised how little was known about this devastating drug.
“Meth was such a ravaging drug I really thought (at the time,) this was something to portray,” says Glazer.
In the film, the drama begins when addicts break into a home to steal a TV in exchange for drugs. But once inside, they discover the family they’re robbing is hiding a terrible secret.
The actors Michael O’Keefe and David Zayas, are both law enforcement officials with a hidden agenda. Their bad choices, like those of the addicts, lead them to a path of self destruction.
From the beginning, nothing is what it’s supposed to be. Glazer creates a dark world hidden behind manicured lawns in gated communities. His own upbringing in sunny Fort Lauderdale often made him wonder what bad things may be hidden from view.
“Like all towns, they have a sort of darker corner and this became an inspiration for finding this very idyllic privatized community,” says Glazer.
The fictional town of Vertara Hill becomes the setting for a violent hostage takeover. In the film, every character has demons, both emotional and physical - that get in the way of them facing their truths.
The theme of misplaced loyalties and trust is a current that runs throughout the movie. In the film about addiction, no one is seen using drugs and that was intentional. Glazer says it was more important for him to dramatize the consequences of his character’s poor decisions than depicting its use.
“ If you don’t address those choices in a timely fashion, those consequences will define you and steer the course of your life,” he says.
Glazer says the drug, which alters brain function – makes recovery extremely difficult. A 2000 analysis by The National Institute on Drug Abuse, compared cocaine with meth users and noted that the high from meth use was quicker and lasted longer. Last year, the U.S. Dept of Justice named methamphetamine as one of the greatest drug threats in the nation due to increased drug trafficking from Mexico.
For now, Glazer returns to New York to work with his partner Summer Crockett Moore who is his co-producer and an actor in the film. They will be looking for a sales agent to bring the film to more theatres. He has another project that aims his lens specifically on South Florida. It’s a screenplay called American Stare and it takes place in a trailer park in Fort Lauderdale.
“ It’s the first time I’ve ever written about a certain class of people who live in South Florida. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to do that but I’m thinking of developing a couple of properties that would take place in South Florida,” he says.
There will be a post-party celebration with the cast and director after the Friday 9:45 pm premiere at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale. The next showing is scheduled Saturday, Novemeber 10 at the Muvico Theatre in Pompano Beach.