Breaking Habits (Ryan, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Matheus Clorado. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2019.

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Meet Sister Kate. She’ll take you on a trip. I mean, really.

After putting herself back together following a troublesome marriage dissolution, sister Kate tries a business project rather different than her corporate background. “Have you ever tried the cannabis plant?” she asks, dressed as a nun. In Merced county, amidst high crime rates and unemployment issues, she founds Sisters of the Valley, a business company focused on spreading the healing properties of CBD products.

Running her own farm is not that easy or simple, as depicted – most of the times with a great sense of humor – in this incredible documentary. The sisters have to face many obstacles in order to develop their business further, and British director Rob Ryan manages to capture this universe in the most natural and humane way imaginable.

You will leave the theater with many insights and profound questions in your head as the sister’s philosophy breaks taboos and promotes dialogue on many issues beyond medical marijuana. Breaking Habits touches on sensitive themes such as suicide, rehabilitation and the consumption of other psychoactive drugs after introduction to cannabis.

It becomes clear that sister Kate owns more than just a vision. She and her fellow sisters share a mission – purposefully a challenging one. Most of these nuns are not even Christian, which potentially can raise some harsh criticism as they walk, fully dressed in their habits. Her definition of a sisterhood is progressive and it sets a powerful model of independent women sharing strength and lifting each other.

This is a must-see for its humanity and immediate relevancy as the weed business ignites all over the United States.

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