Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

TV Junkie 2006

Directed by Matt Radecki, Michael Cain

Harrowing, heartbreaking doco edited down from 3,000 hours (yes... 3,000!) of home video footage, telling the story of a former primetime newscaster whose addiction to crack destroyed his life.

USA In English
90 minutes Beta-SP / Colour and B&W


Rick Kirkham


Matt Radecki


Sundance, SXSW 2006


The video diary documentary format has given us corrosively revealing efforts like Capturing the Friedmans, Grizzly Man and Tarnation, but TV Junkie seems to have upped the ante to a truly unsettling new level in this chronicle of the life of a drug addict. In a feat that can only be described as astonishing, producer/co-director Michael Cain edited down 3000 hours (yes… 3000!) of home video footage shot by his subject Rick Kirkham to make this harrowing heart-breaker. We watch in speechless amazement as Kirkham, a former primetime newscaster, helplessly succumbs to crack addiction and spirals into despair, destroying his family and career. His on-camera rants and tearful confessions are unavoidably voyeuristic and difficult to watch, laying bare the consequences for a man undone by an uncontrollable vice and begging the question: just how low can one go? Not for the easily disturbed, yet an emotional litmus test even for the steely-nerved, TV Junkie is one of the greatest and most painfully honest anti-drug statements you’ll ever see.