New Documentary, The Anonymous People, Strives to Transform Public Opinion on Recovery

by David Backes

The Anonymous People, a new documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, examines the deeply entrenched social stigma has kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. Via the website:

The vacuum has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people with addiction that perpetuate a lurid fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.

The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.

The Anonymous People – Theatrical Trailer from Greg Williams on Vimeo.

The Anonymous People is a great way to catalyze a dialog on addiction recovery advocacy in your community. The film has teamed up with an organization called GATHR to make bringing The Anonymous People to your local theater easier than ever. 

GATHR uses a “theatrical‐on‐demand” model where you can request a screening and they coordinate with the theater for you. You do not have to pay any sort of screening room rental or exhibition fee – you just have to promote the film and get people to reserve tickets. GATHR screenings can only happen if a minimum number of people reserve tickets (often around 30, but it depends on the theater).

Learn more about hosting a screening of The Anonymous People in your community >>


juvenile-justice-system_David-BackesDavid Backes writes the Friday news roundup for Reclaiming Futures and contributes articles about juvenile justice reform and adolescent substance abuse treatment to ReclaimingFutures.org. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University. David works as an account executive for Prichard Communications.