I came across this 1-hour documentary on Dickie Eklund from Tribeca via Facebook. Snag Films looks to be a good place for free on-line documentaries. Dickie Eklund, of course, is the half-brother of Mickey Ward. I never saw Dickie fight, but was a big follower of Mickey. One thing you can see from this film is what a true-life job Christian Bale did portraying Dickie in The Fighter. And I had not realized this but, Melissa Leo (Treme) nails Alice Ward. Wow.
The three friends all grew up in Lowell: Dickie, Boo Boo (also portrayed in the motion picture) and Brenda are the subjects in this documentary. It starts out with a Park Ranger guiding a tour of the “historic” Lowell. Our guides to the ‘other’ Lowell are Brenda and Boo Boo, and to a lesser extent, Dickie. It’s a harrowing look at the uncontrollable demons who possess these addicts. When Brenda talks about her wish/not wish to get clean, her wish/not wish to have her abortion, she’s the poster child for crack addiction. She disappears and has her child we hear, but we never see her again. Boo Boo is diagnosed with HIV and after getting a donut delivery job, he appears on the right track. But when it’s discovered that he has been working without a valid license he has to be let go. At the end, he’s still using crack. He has a last blow with Dickie, before the elder brother is scheduled to begin serving his 15-year prison sentence. His downward spiral appears to be still in effect at the documentaries close.
What a sad tale, not only of Dickie, but of all the other crack addicts shown in this film. I’ve loved going to Lowell for road races (a big fan of the Kerouac 5K) and for dinner sometimes and in the distant past for fights at Lowell Memorial Auditorium. But that was the gentrified Lowell, the sanitized Lowell, the “livable” Lowell. Not this Lowell, which is the ‘real’ Lowell, sadly. If you liked the motion picture, this makes an essential companion piece.