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The Hard Way (2000)
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The Hard Way (2000)

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STORYLINE


A young man prepares to be handcuffed to his bed for two weeks to beat his heroin addiction once and for all.

In a few hours, the sweating will begin, the pain and anxiety of withdrawal. For the next two weeks, he and hundreds of heroin addicts like him will stay chained to their beds and be fed bread and water. Brutal as it may seem, this is a desperate grassroots response to Russia’s escalating drug problem.

Yekaterinburg is Russia’s third largest town, and like many others, it is flooded with cheap narcotics from Afghanistan – currently the world’s largest heroin producer. Igor Varov runs the controversial detox programme which is part of a bigger campaign called “Town Without Drugs”.

Like many Russians, Varov has given up on the police and the medical profession in the hard battle against heroin. He puts his own life at risk, staging violent raids on drug dealers and even allying with the local mafia. Yet, as this film shows, he and those dedicated to the programme will fight the drugs at any cost to give Russia’s youth a chance at a better future.