Acts of Worship

Director: Rosemary Rodriguez
Screenwriters: Rosemary Rodriguez

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Acts of Worship is an outstanding directorial effort from Rosemary Rodriguez, who infuses a familiar story with heart-wrenching humanity and an astonishing ability to display the horrific pain that comes when someone is in the ferocious grip of drug addiction.

Ana Reeder delivers a notable standout debut in the role of Alix, a young white, educated, middle-class girl, turned homeless due to her crack and heroin addiction. Her daily life consists of hustling for money to buy drugs. She constantly takes advantage of the few friends she does have, because of her desperate need to feed her habit. When Digna \*(Michael Hyatt)\**, a photographer on the verge of making it big, befriends Alix and attempts to set her on the path to recovery, the troubled girl's emotional and ethical cores are put to the test. On the surface the two women seem to represent success and failure respectively. However, when their lives become intertwined, the similarities between them are exposed, revealing them both to be suffering from a fear that manifests itself in self-destruction and isolation.

Rodriguez has refreshingly and insightfully portrayed the characters not as archetypical drug addicts, but rather as successful people succumbing to an addiction that is largely misunderstood. Featuring searing, authentic performances from all cast members, Acts of Worship portrays the devastating impact of one's spiritual architecture collapsing and the tragic consequences of turning to drugs for salvation.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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