The difficult journey towards addiction recovery winds through Austin in ‘Addict Named Hal’

The film’s director says it walks a fine line of celebrating recovery houses and calling for more support for addicts.

By Laura RiceOctober 22, 2021 9:45 am, , ,

Lane Michael Stanley got their Master of Fine Arts in the University of Texas at Austin’s Radio Television Film program. Stanley used the city as a backdrop for their story about addiction recovery houses. “Addict Named Hal” is inspired by their own experiences. It’s playing at the Austin Film Festival.

“‘Addict Named Hal’ is a film that I’ve been working on for most of the time that I’ve been sober, which is about five-and-a-half years now. It’s inspired by my experiences living in a recovery house for drug and alcohol recovery in 2016, where I lived for six months after inpatient rehab, after my fiancé died suddenly of a heart attack.”


“I found this incredible community of people who were also going through crisis and who were able to support each other in different ways, even from a variety of backgrounds and different experiences, different drugs of choice, etc. And so, in leaving the recovery house, it became really important to me to share some of the things that I have learned about communities of recovery.”


“On the one hand, we want to celebrate the work that communities in recovery can do for each other, that a lot of times the people who will be the most there for you and support you the best are the other folks who are going through the same thing that you’re going through. And, at the same time, that there is a level of medical care and professional help that your peers can’t always provide, that is often not accessible to people who don’t have certain financial resources. And that becomes a state issue. That’s a social issue. And that has to do with the stigma around addiction.”


“Whether you are someone who has experienced this yourself or are currently experiencing this yourself, you want to see a different kind of recovery represented on screen. Or if you have a loved one who’s been through this and maybe you can understand why it’s taken them a few tries or more than a few tries to get on the right path. Our hope is that this film can just help showcase everyone’s humanity and how hard this journey really can be.”


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