Other Sellers on Amazon
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- Additional scenes
- Additional interviews
- Sundance Awards live
- Filmmaker biographies
Top Customer Reviews
In order to have empathy for Helen, you need to keep in mind that she came from a tough as nails, rough background. Sister Helen may have been wearing a nun's habit; but yes, she DID keep her own ways. She was very foul-mouthed; and she DID use her power to boss around the men who lived in her transitional home. This is going to cause great controversy because there are some of us who believe that nuns should not swear and refer to urine as some other four letter word which I will not repeat here.
On the other hand, I saw Sister Helen doing a lot of good for the residents of her home. Let's face it: these were people whose lives had been destroyed by their overpowering addictions to drugs and alcohol. This is often precisely the type of person who needs a tough mentor to lead them away from drugs and alcohol and back toward a life of sobriety. I should know: as the son of an alcoholic, drug addicted mother, I will never forget how hard it was just to get my mother to go to a single A.A. meeting--just once. After many years my mother had to eventually hit rock bottom and only then she began a recovery that was never fully completed.Read more ›
What makes this documentary exceptional is that the founder, Sister Helen, has her own past with which she has to contend making her more than a `savior', but a fellow traveler who understands the trials the men face. Having lost her husband and two sons to the atrocities of drugs, alcohol, and in one case, murder, we can sympathize with Sister Helen's passion to assist others.
Her no-nonsense style will provoke viewers who believe that members of religious orders should avoid profanity, speak prettily, and invoke God in a particular pious way. Sister Helen reflects the world from which she came: hard-bitten, tough, and demanding. Her tough-love approach guides the men who would have her believe the various lies they tell from time to time but she remains committed to them no matter how often they falter.
Individuals who prefer their religious types similar to the folks in Sister Act and The Sound of Music would do well to avoid Sister Helen.
Sister Helen looked after twenty something men at Travis House, which she ran with an iron fist. These men were not only addicts but some had also committed serious offenses. Sister Helen's language was salty, but she knew it was language they understood, because she had been there herself. And she desperately wanted them to understand that this was their chance. So no conning, no blaming, no excuses were allowed. Obey the rules or you are out.
And the rules were pretty simple. Stay clean, pay rent, help out, no women in the house and maintain curfew. If you couldn't ( or wouldn't ) follow the rules, then you were back on the streets and someone else who wanted a chance took your place.
It was pretty clear that many of the men had a love/hate relationship with this abrasive woman much as a teen might have with a parent who has laid down the law. Tough love isn't always appreciated until much later when you can view your life in perspective. But many of the men stayed and worked on their sobreity because deep down, they knew this may be their last chance.
At age 56, Sister Helen brought who she was to the ministry, the sum total of her life's experiences. She didn't suddenly transform into a meek and pious woman because she put on a veil.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A dedicated woman helping lost souls. She was definitely not your typical nun.Published 1 month ago by Catherine Ruvane
Wonderful documentary - raw, full of tough love and heartbreakingly sad at the end. Would recommend. Bring tissues.Published 4 months ago by Bridget
a New York story of the intersection between pain and hope renewed by faith and outreach to companions in suffering.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an unforgettable documentary about a most admirable, tough woman. I have watched it about a dozen times. It's realistic life at its best.Published 5 months ago by RealPaperBacks
You better get ready because this is a one of a kind lady who is all or nothing.
A one of a kind Nun like no other!