Konstantin Bojanov's sympathetic but unsparing portrait of six junkies in his hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria, chronicles the human damage wrought by the tide of heroin that swept iron-curtain countries after the Soviet Union's collapse. The result suggests that drug-driven lives are the same the world over: the same filthy shooting galleries, bad complexions, spaced-out philosophizing and talk about kicking it. What keeps the film from being a relentless downer is its surprising conclusion: After three years none of the subjects have died and several actually have quit. In this environment, that's a bona fide happy ending.
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