Black Tar Heroin (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street
Directed by Steven Okazaki
Produced by Steven Okazaki
Music by Cat Power, Tanya Donelly, Mr. T Experience, Team Dresch, Varnaline, Space Needle, Eve Bekker & Karl Goldring
Cinematography Steven Okazaki
Distributed by Farallon Films
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Running time
75 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street is a 1999 documentary directed by Steven Okazaki. Filmed from 1995 to 1998 in the Tenderloin, San Francisco, California, the documentary describes the lives of heroin addicts.


The film follows a simple structure, and shows the drug-related degradation of five youths (Jake, Tracey, Jessica, Alice, Oreo) during the course of three years. The film depicts their drug-related crimes and diseases, including prostitution, male prostitution, AIDS, and lethal overdoses.

In a 2004 follow up interview with Tracey, she reveals she is now a full-time drug counselor, while Jessica is still working as a prostitute despite having HIV. Alice is believed to be sober since 2002. Oreo's whereabouts are unknown; his girlfriend Jennifer went to treatment. After she relapsed, she later died from a drug induced asthma attack while on Shotwell St. in San Francisco. Her friend, Kari Guilinger, attempted to give her CPR with the help of a FoodsCo employee while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but were unable to save her life. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at Davies County Hospital. Jake overcame his heroin addiction and began methadone treatment. Shortly after stopping his methadone and the break-up with his first clean and sober girlfriend, Jake was found dead of a drug overdose in January 2002. Tracey's boyfriend, Ben, died of an overdose just one week after being released from prison on a burglary charge.

In a further update on YouTube, Tracey revealed she had earned a master's degree, married and become a mother to three kids; as of July 2015 update, she stated she was 16 years clean. She has written one book already and has a second one on the way. Tracey works in the community she used to use drugs in, helping those who suffer from addiction.[1]

In 2017 a photo of purporting to be of Oreo taken in 2010 appeared on the website, some other sources online had previously incorrectly reported that he had passed away.[2]


  • The film was produced by HBO and was frequently shown in 1999 on the channel, as part of their "America Undercover" series, becoming one of its top-rated documentaries.
  • The documentary received a theatrical release on March 17, 2000, at San Francisco's Roxie Theatre, and is still available on DVD.


Songs featured in the film:


  1. ^ alexis ohanian (2015-08-13). "031: The Heroine of Heroin". Upvoted by Reddit (Podcast). Reddit. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Black Tar Heroin: Where Are They Now? | Documentary Vine". Documentary Vine. 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 

External links[edit]