All the World is Sleeping

Directed by: Ryan Lacen
Distributed by: Gravitas Ventures

Written by Jeff Sparks


“All the World Is Sleeping” stars Melissa Barrera as Chama, a woman fighting through drug addiction to give her daughter a better life. The sincerity that director Ryan Lacen shows for the subject matter is what stands out the most. Chama is not portrayed as an addict but as a struggling human being. While her missteps as a mother are not glossed over, the film shows us that her neglect for her duties is not intentional and that she truly does care for her daughter. The beast of addiction is represented not only through Chama’s journey but through the people she meets along the way. These people all have different experiences at their individual stages of addiction so they each have a different understanding of the struggle. One woman she meets has been to detox eight times while another refuses to go entirely. While they’re on different sides of the spectrum, the thing they have in common is that they both know that addiction isn’t a battle, but a war. How will Chama and the others find the strength to endure that? That is the question that “All the World Is Sleeping” leaves us with as the credits roll. 

The actual experience of watching the film isn’t as graceful as the sincerity placed within it though. The nonlinear structure frequently breaks the flow of the film periodically. This style of storytelling doesn’t allow for a personal connection with Chama to be formed which makes for a detached viewing experience, at least in the first half. Because her drug usage is present mostly in that half, I wonder if this erratic structure was intentional to represent her state of mind. If so, I don’t think its implementation achieved that in combination with forging a connection between the viewer and Chama. Nonetheless, “All the World Is Sleeping” is a solid indie with an honest look at an issue that has plagued the lives of millions.

“All the World is Sleeping” Trailer

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