Film: Sister Helen (2002)

Film: Sister Helen (2002)In this compelling no-frills documentary, a 69-year-old Benedictine nun rules a private home for recovering male addicts in the South Bronx with strict curfews, tough language and a large heart. The Sundance Award-winning documentary captures in cinema verité style the no-nonsense day-to-day environment of Sister Helen’s half-way house, which provides a private room in a structured environment for addicts. Structure is perhaps an understatement. The men in Sister Helen’s residence must obey curfews, undergo frequent urine tests, participate in community service, seek employment and pay rent. Sister Helen became a Benedictine nun at the age of 56, and shortly afterward founded the John Thomas Travis Center to “do for other people’s sons what I couldn’t do for my own.”

The film at IMDB and the Hartley Film Foundation

Amazon instant video

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