Harley loves Ilya. He gives her life purpose and sets her passion ablaze. So, when he asks her to prove her love by slitting her wrists, she obliges with only mild hesitation, perhaps because of her other all-consuming love: heroin. Directed by celebrated filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie (LENNY COOKE, DADDY LONGLEGS), HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT blends fiction, formalism and raw vérité as it follows a young heroin addict (Arielle Holmes) who finds mad love in the streets of New York. The film—which world premiered at Venice (where it won the CICAE award) and subsequently played NYFF, Toronto and SXSW among other prestigious festivals—is based on Holmes’ soon-to-be-published memoir Mad Love in New York City. Co-starring Caleb Landry-Jones (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, BYZANTIUM), HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT also features street legend Buddy Duress and gore rap phenom Necro. Co-directors Josh and Benny Safdie stops by for a conversation on the making of their raw, disturbing and impassioned new film.
“At the very least, the directors, Josh and Benny Safdie, have created a small, beautiful classic of street theater by rendering these public disputes within a vibrant Manhattan setting through ingenious photography.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
“For much of the movie, [the Safdies] keep the camera discomfitingly close to the characters, blurring out the background and immersing us in their telescoped world.” – Scott Foundas, Variety
“I’m glad I saw this film; considered on its own merits, in terms of what I understand as its artistic goals, it’s a wrenching and finely wrought piece of work.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
“Powerful and poetic, with a lush sense of realism.” – Tomris Laffly, Film Journal International