High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell

High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell
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High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell
Price: $19.95

Co-Produced by DCTV and HBO

In blue-collar Lowell, Mass., where disappearing industry has produced high unemployment, some residents have turned to crack for relief - only to watch their dreams of a better life go up in smoke. High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell is a harrowing documentary chronicling 18 months in the lives of three crackhouse friends whose addiction has let them to crime and despair.

Dicky Eklund, Brenda, and Boo-Boo have grown up in and around Lowell. Brenda was an aspiring actress; now she resorts to prostituion to pay for her crack addiction. "I love it more than anything. More than life itself. Yet I hate it worse than anything", says Brenda. Dicki was the "Pride of Lowell" a boxer who once fought Sugar Ray Leonard. He commits robberies to support his habit. Boo-Boo has spent the last twenty years smoking crack, shoplifting, and doing whatever he has to do to stay alive.

To make the film, documentarians Jon Alpert and Mary Ann DeLeo teamed up with Lowell resident and former drug addict Rich Farrell, who was able to obtain remarkable access to the town's drug subculture. In the eighteenth months it took to complete this documentary, the camera follows Brenda, Dicki and Boo-Boo in and out of crack houses, rehab centers and jails. Their sad struggle mirrors the despair of their home town. There are many 'Lowells' in America - where citizens are abandoned to drugs and the empty factories echo their despair.

High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell Update

  • The Fighter, a film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams is released in 2010. The film depicts the life of Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund and includes scenes about the making of the documentary High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell.
  • The Fighter receives seven Academy Award nominations.
  • In 2011, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo win Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
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Jon Alpert
Mary Ann DeLeo
Rich Farrell
John Custodio


Columbia Dupont Silver Batton
NEMN Silver Apple


"Instead of painting their subjects as thoughtless victims, (the) filmmakers ... have forged a moving document of complex despair."
The Boston Globe