“SNO BABIES” AMERICAN NIGHTMARE Sno Babies is a gritty independent feature film about Kristen, a 16 year old heroin addicted honor student from a “good” Catholic family, who gets pregnant. Hiding the pregnancy and her addiction, she battles the underbelly of suburban teen life while she explores her flawed and limited options.
Unlike most films about heroin addiction, Sno Babies explores this horrible epidemic in America’s suburbs, where teens have access to money and parents are often too busy pursuing the American Dream to see what is happening right in their own homes. We follow Kristen and her 17 year old best friend Hannah as they navigate typical suburban teen life, all the while shooting heroin into their systems in the most innovative ways to hide needle marks from their family, friends and authority figures. And also unlike most films about heroin addiction, Kristen and Hannah cannot be easily written off as “different” or obviously damaged individuals from some obscure subset of our culture. It’s too easy for most “normal” non addicted people to write off over the top drug addicted characters in films as “them.” The other people. Most non addicted people can’t relate to these characters. When they see what they perceive as a repulsive drug addicted character in a film, as upsetting as it is to watch, they easily brush it off and say “that can never happen to me or anyone in my family.” Sno Babies is different.
Kristen and Hannah are America’s daughters. One comes from an intact family with siblings and the other, an only child from a family of divorce with a new step parent. In other words, a snapshot of current American families. We watch a nightmare unfold in front of our eyes as these two beautiful girls with seemingly bright futures, shoot poison in their bodies just to cope with the pressures of typical teen life. And no one in their world notices.
Kristen’s pregnancy raises the stakes even higher and provides a ticking clock to the story. Will Kristen win the battle of her addiction in time to save herself and the innocent baby growing inside her? What is it about our society – parenting styles, friends, teachers, societal pressures, social programs, the Catholic Church (or any church for that matter) that prevents Kristen from dealing with the pregnancy and her addiction openly? Why can’t she take advantage of the help that is supposedly readily available? Kristen fails herself and ultimately can’t overcome her own fatal flaw but all of the above fail her as well.
Sno Babies is an indictment of several layers of American society as we know it. It’s hard hitting and extremely disturbing. Watching Kristen and Hannah descend into the black hole of addiction is every parent’s worst nightmare. I believe that exposing this unvarnished real horror will open people’s eyes and encourage them to look at themselves and their own families.
Hopefully, Sno Babies can make a difference and save future Kristens and Hannahs from this living hell.