Review by James Lindorf
Self-taught Director Hasan Oswald’s first film “Higher Love” is a powerful exploration of the control love and drugs can have over us. In this gripping documentary, we follow Camden, New Jersey Native Daryl Gant and his quest to be a better father than his own who abandoned him at birth. His girlfriend, Nani, is the love of his life, but she struggles with crippling crack and heroin addictions. When Nani becomes pregnant, it becomes Daryl’s new-found purpose to forge a better future for both of them. Gravitas Ventures will release “Higher Love” on VOD and Digital platforms, as well as all major cable/satellite platforms on Tuesday, November 3rd.
“Higher Love” manages to be shocking and heartbreaking while maintaining a sense of hope and affirming our ability to overcome any issue. Oswald’s film is not an easy watch. From opening to close, we are shown people continually putting their life, and the lives of people they profess to care about at risk. The access he has to some highly illegal and intensely personal moments is shocking. Not only because of the behavior being shown but that the individuals agreed to be a part of it and don’t feel shamed into delaying or not participating in certain activities while the camera is around.
Nani has her group of friends who help her score drugs or turn tricks and even hide from Daryl whenever she has left home for her latest bender. Much like the drugs lead Nani to make bad decisions, Daryl’s love for her leads him to make poor choices and fills him with anger, which pushes her away, causing a vicious cycle.
“Higher Love” may not have the polish that comes with experience or a traditional film education but love and despair radiate off the screen. It is never an easy watch seeing people destroy themselves. Oswald is unflinching in his exploration of Daryl and Nani’s lives, and it is always sad, maddening, and captivating. Seeing is believing, but in the case of “Higher Love” seeing is feeling because it is impossible to watch the story unfold for 78 minutes and not be touched in some way.
Original Language: English
Director: Hasan Oswald
Producer: Derek Rubin, Alexander Spiess
Runtime: 1h 18m
Production Co: Rhino Films