A film about ‘Modern Day Miracles’

Documentary follows Hudson County residents, years after addiction/alcoholism recovery

Surviving years of alcoholism or drug addiction and all the complications of a substance abuse problem can be considered a miracle.
For the group of four men who are part of a new production company based in Hudson County, Borough to Borough Productions, “Modern Day Miracles” is the title of their new documentary that follows the stories of county residents who retell their battles with substance abuse and their recovery from their disease.


The film will make its debut at the International Film and Video Festival in NYC on Oct. 26

Relatives of survivors also make an appearance in the film, which will be featured at the International Film and Video Festival in New York City on Oct. 26.
“They didn’t want to make a documentary on people that just got into recovery or need to get into recovery,” said Director and Editor Ramon “Ray Cuts” Cruz of West New York. “These people have been in recovery 10, 15, 20 years. That’s the twist – 20 years from now, you can have a life; you can have kids, a good job.”
“This documentary shows people that there is hope. It’s very touching,” said Executive Producer John Luppo. “We have a guy who lost his arm and his leg and is a third degree black belt now. We have a guy who was a Jersey City cop who killed somebody, and now he’s doing positive things.” In the film the retired cop said he killed someone while at a bar in Union City.
The film also features a man who stabbed another nine times while intoxicated after getting into a scuffle. In another story, a man, now sober 30 years, describes how he once blacked out, pulled out his gun, and put it to his future wife’s head. He fired, but thankfully, the bullet did not come out.
Along with the interviews, the film features re-enactments of past events described by those re-telling their tales.

Personal experiences

“We put something positive out there to help others,” said Director and Producer Stuart Chirichella. Recounting his own recovery from addiction, and now sober for 18 years, Chirichella said that he hoped the film would shine a positive light on what can be accomplished if addicts surrender themselves to get help for their substance abuse.
“You have to be really ready for it,” said Luppo. “Admitting that you have a problem is the way that you get better.”
Part of “Modern Day Miracles” was filmed at St. Francis Church in Hoboken. The film is dedicated to the memory of Luppo’s older brother Robert, who died from complications of substance abuse, and to Patrick Burke, a well-known Hoboken resident and friend of Luppo and Chirichella who died recently, shortly after achieving recovery. Burke’s mother is featured in the film describing her son’s story.
“He died sober,” says Ms. Burke in the film, with tears in her eyes.
Though Derrick “Admonish” Machado, who produced the musical score in the film, did not have a personal struggle with substance abuse, he was raised in a household where alcoholism was present. During an interview last week, Machado recalled the impact his father’s alcohol addiction left on his spirit.
“I don’t want my son to go through something like what I went through with my dad,” said Machado, whose musical piece is the one that includes Burke’s mother.


“I think that this can be a positive message for kids who are thinking about going that route,” said Luppo. “Me and Stu will be going next week to do some motivational speaking in a high school to tell kids ‘you don’t have to do this’.”
The company hopes to distribute the film in schools, recovery programs, and anywhere that might find the film useful.
“People don’t realize that it really is a disease, because the majority of a lot of these drug addicts and alcoholics are really good people. You see openings and blessings that happen,” said Luppo, regarding the effect of escaping the grip of substance abuse. “Look at this, this documentary. It’s a blessing.”
For more information on “Modern Day Miracles”, visit their website at: http://www.moderndaymiracles.net or email them at: info@moderndaymiracles.net.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at mrappaport@hudsonreporter.com

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