Tales: A Cautionary Story About Heroin Addiction
The book and short film, by Theresa DeSalvio, both share a compelling story about the dangers of heroin addiction. DeSalvio created this book and film in response to a growing awareness of the heroin epidemic that is sweeping across our country. The author and artist utilizes the character of Pinocchio to tell this story – not the pleasant Disney version, but rather her own version inspired by the original and much-darker story told by Carlo Collodi – and shows how Pinocchio does not look at the consequences of his experiments with drugs.
The story aims to show that the addict may tell himself or herself that what they are doing only affects them, whereas nothing can be further from the truth. Addiction touches not only those that care about the addict but also the larger community.
The goal is for this book and film to open up discussions within families, classrooms and communities. We need an honest look at addiction in order to affect the decisions that people make.
The festival version of Tales: A Cautionary Story about Heroin Addiction was selected and included in the following film festivals:
- Hudson Valley 2016 International Film Festival (Monroe, NY)
- The Brightside Tavern Shorts Festival (Jersey City, NJ)
- Great Lakes International Shorts Festival
- Erie International Film Festival
- Impact Docs Awards
- Hang onto Your Shorts Film Festival (Asbury Park, NJ)
- Royal Starr Film Festival
- Docs Without Borders Film Festival
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu
A note from the artist/author/filmmaker:
As a parent of a son who is a heroin addict, I needed to make sense of what his addiction was doing not only to him, but to my family. In order to do so, I used what I knew: my art. I am an artist whose work explores social issues in narrative form. When I began making these paintings, I did not know how many there would be or where they would lead me. I had no idea that the paintings would become the basis for a book and film. All I knew is that as I continued making them, I was finally able to put some order to the chaos that resulted from my son’s addiction. The narrative that appears in Tales: A Cautionary Story about Heroin Addiction came later, as did the statistical information about the wide-reaching effects of addiction on society. And through the paintings, the book and the film, it became clear to me that honest drug education is critical to prevention.
My film has been screened for numerous community groups and social workers, and in libraries and churches, as well as screenings in international film festivals. The feedback I have gotten from addicts and their families is that I have told a story that is true, one that they all recognize from their own experience. Presentations of the film have helped to create a feeling of safety for people to share their knowledge and experience pertaining to heroin addiction.
I hope that this film leads to more honest discussion about heroin addiction and its effects on all of us. And I hope, too, that Tales: A Cautionary Story about Heroin Addiction – the paintings, the book and the film – helps to dissuade anyone from going down this path.
– Theresa DeSalvio