- Sorry, this item is not available in
- Image not available
- To view this video download Flash Player
One of the most unanimously acclaimed documentaries in recent years and winner of the coveted Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, this emotionally compelling film is an inspirational and uplifting portrait of a truly colorful and most unusual New York character. Brash, foul-mouthed, and no-nonsense, Sister Helen Travis is not your typical saintly soul. A recovering alcoholic who lost her husband and sons to substance abuse, she single-handedly fights her own war on drugs as director of a halfway house for recovering addicts in NYCs South Bronx. Filmmakers Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa put their fly-on-the-wall, cinema verité technique to expert use as they vividly capture the complex love/hate relationship between this tough-as-nails nun and the men who both fear her and rely on her to help them battle their own inner demons. Inspired by Sinatras "my-way-or-the-highway" mantra, Sister Helen runs a tight ship in which everyone must obey her rules and the hand that writes them. For the residents who wish to permanently kick the habit, this sobering dose of tough love may be their last and only hope.
Sister Helen offers a candid look at an unconventional nun. Tough-talking Sister Helen Travis is a recovered alcoholic who reinvented herself at age 56, after the loss of her husband and sons, by joining the Benedictine order in 1986. Two years later, she opened a recovery center for men in the rat-infested South Bronx (literally--the tenants battle several during the course of the film). As Sister Helen explains, "I try to do for other people's sons what I didn't do for my own. It's a second chance." Daughter Mary helps out at the center, but life mostly revolves around men like Major, an alcoholic, and Robert, a crack addict. They're everything to her and she to them--mother, counselor, warden. Her rules are strict (no female visitors, regular urine tests, community service), but her love and support is boundless. Sister Helen is a worthy testament to an unforgettable character. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Treatment group loved this movie. Generated in-depth discussion. Sister Helen is a real memorable character.Published 3 months ago by Vicki Pelletier
This is a great story it shows the heart the compassion of someone who wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.Published 3 months ago by Venette Meachem
Loved her story, loved her life, loved that she didn't shy from answering God's nudging...and she gave it her best. If we are willing, God always takes us where we're at. Read morePublished 6 months ago by maria
SHE IS NOT FOR CHILDREN OR ADULTS EXCEPT ITS A REALLY GOOD MOVIE REAL AND YES SHE LIVES WITH THE POOR AND SHE IS THEM AND THEY ARE HER YOU WILL ONLY UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M TALKING... Read morePublished 13 months ago by dewayne
I love documentaries and was not disappointed by this one. Sister Helen Travis is a feisty Benedictine nun who runs a shelter for recovering male addicts in the Bronx. Read morePublished 15 months ago by P.B.
Sister Helen is one, tough lady. She lives in a house in a poor section of New York with 22 male addicts. She watches over them like she's a mother to all of them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Tom Cross