‘Coming Clean’ Trailer: Ondi Timoner Humanizes the Opioid Crisis in New Documentary

Exclusive: The filmmaker's latest documentary, premiering at the Bentonville Film Festival this week, addresses one of the country's greatest health crises.
'Coming Clean' Trailer: Ondi Timoner Tackles Opioid Crisis in New Film
16mm film still courtesy of Interloper Films

Ondi Timoner has been a fixture of American documentary filmmaking since 2003, when her debut feature “DIG!” put her on par with the rock stars she followed for the genre-smashing music documentary. “DIG!” took home Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 2004, a distinction Timoner earned again for her 2009 film “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” making her the only filmmaker to have won the prize twice. Both works were recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent film collection.

For her latest film, “COMING CLEAN,” Timoner takes on America’s raging opioid crisis, in a holistic look at addiction and recovery that focuses on human connection. “The COVID-19 pandemic has driven opioid overdoses deaths up by 50 percent, we felt we needed to get this film out to people as soon as possible,” Timoner told IndieWire.

IndieWire is debuting the trailer exclusively ahead of the film’s Thursday premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis: ‘COMING CLEAN’ examines America’s opioid crisis through the eyes of the recovering addicts and political leaders on the frontlines. The film follows addicts in recovery as they form alliances with policymakers to disrupt the stigma and impact laws and industries to bring necessary change in their communities. The film follows these subjects while exploring the origins of the greatest drug crisis in our history and uncovering innovative solutions.”

In an official statement, Timoner shared some of her motivations for making the film: “I was compelled to make ‘COMING CLEAN’ to bring hope and solutions for our recovery to the overwhelmingly dark subject of opioid addiction, which is the deadliest drug epidemic in history. … In order to bring empathy to this highly stigmatized subject, we set out to explore the sources of the pain we’re medicating and follow empowering stories of personal connection over several years, where our characters shed the stigma and personal shame to unite against the monster drug of dependency, and impact policy on the national stage.”

“COMING CLEAN” will make its world premiere in documentary competition at the Bentonville Film Festival on Thursday, August 13. The virtual premiere will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom with Timoner and the film’s subjects. “COMING CLEAN” is seeking distribution at the festival.

Check out the first trailer for “COMING CLEAN” below, exclusively on IndieWire.

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