Traversing a dark underworld of intravenous drug use and weekend-long sex parties, “Chemsex” tells the story of a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction and finding acceptance in a changing world — and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them.
The film, directed by Vice’s Will Fairman and Max Gogarty, explores the lives and fortunes of a group of men actively taking part in the chemsex lifestyle, and those who have come out the other end and survived. With unprecedented access to chemsex parties and the U.K. health service’s only chemsex support clinic, 56 Dean Street in London, the film seeks to understand the complex issues at the heart of the story, exploring notions such as internalized shame, cycles of self-destruction and redemption.
Peccadillo chairman Tom Abell said: “The chemsex issue is relatively unknown amongst audiences and we hope that by bringing it to light, it will push more healthcare professionals, like 56 Dean Street’s David Stuart, to take note and enable change.”
Al Brown, head of video at Vice, added, “Vice has always endeavored to explore underreported and complex issues that involve incredible characters and human stories. After Vice.com first reported in 2013 on the unprecedented rise in intravenous drug use in London’s gay party scene, we felt that story needed to be explored further.”