Books of Interest
Film Reviews

Jun 20, 2004, 09:13

J. Clements
The Film Farm
Spokane, WA

Reviewed by Kathy Nussberger

The documentary film Next Door takes an in-depth look into the intricacies of a "normal" family who failed to see the warning signs of teenage addiction and admit to a family legacy of alcoholism. Next Door offers a realistic look into the life of a real family who believed they had created a balanced life for their children until addiction struck at its core. The film illustrates the teen's descent into substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, rebellion, manipulation and lying, and how her choices affected her younger siblings who watched in silence.

Next Door investigates the teen's addiction, and her ability to manipulate and control the family's every reaction to her actions. It delves into the web of secrecy, fear and confusion that surrounded the younger siblings as the teen's life spiraled out of control. This video provides something else that I found unique, there is an additional interview, two and a half years later, which reveals what the family and more specifically, the teen, has learned after nearly five years of recovery.

Although Next Door is similar to other videos or books currently available, it offers a unique insight into how recovery is a very personal choice, and even if no one else participates, you can succeed. This video also includes a final interview with the teen and her family after nearly five years of recovery.

I would recommend Next Door to both educators and parents, as it offers valuable insight into the emotions, fears, confusion, shock, anger and denial experienced by those dealing with addiction in their lives.

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