5up 2down (2006)
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A drug-addicted artist and a hustler struggling with prophetic dreams and family issues set out on a spiritual journey that began 140 years ago in director Steven Kessler's impressionistic addiction drama. Santo (Isaach de Bankolé) is a street-smart city dweller who has recently taken to recording his dreams in a journal. One day, as Santo is setting out from his apartment, his brother Benny (Andre Royo) shows up with news that the pair's mother is in the hospital. Meanwhile, Santo's best friend Hunter (Isaach De Bankolé) is preparing for his first major art show. Upon being informed from his art dealer Claude (Rob Bogue) and gallery owner Ewan (Erik Jensen) that he will need to produce one more piece for the big show, Hunter asks Ewan for a 10,000-dollar advance. Check in hand, Hunter heads home to his girlfriend Allie (Paz De La Huerta) and voices his distrust of Claude and Ewan. Later, when Allie departs for dinner, Hunter neglects paying rent and producing a new piece in order to pay a visit to his trusty coke dealer. In the hazy days that follow, Hunter and Santo attempt to avoid reality by descending into an intense five-day drug binge that leaves their minds twisted and finds Allie seeking solace in the arms of immoral bar owner Amir (David Vadim). As the situation grows increasingly grim, Santo gradually begins to draw strong parallels between his dreams and his current situation. When Hunter nearly dies of an overdose, Santo realizes that this is but the latest in a long journey that began long ago and does his best to steer the pair's fate off its tragic course.
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