Finding Normal

Higher Education DVD + PPR: $250.00

Finding Normal


It takes both grit and grace to rebuild a live that has been destroyed by addiction. This feature-length doc provides a rare look into the lives of addicts trying to stay clean and learning to live sober—and the mentors who help keep them on track.

‘Finding Normal,’ a hard-hitting, humane look at addicts in a treatment center, is masterful cinema-verite filmmaking, and an eye-opening example of the power of simply watching and listening. The honesty and lack of self-consciousness of the struggling subjects is truly impressive.”

—Marc Mohan, The Oregonian, selecting
Finding Normal #8 on his top ten list of films for 2007

Higher Education DVD + PPR $250.00
Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License $400.00
K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR $129.00

Impressive. Full of emotional uplift. Lindstrom’s camera gets so in your face at times that it hurts.”

—Bill DeLapp, Syracuse New Times

Finding Normal is a feature length documentary about long-time heroine and crack addicts trying to rebuild lives devastated by addiction and incarceration. The film follows two men and one woman leaving Portland’s Hooper Memorial Detox and entering the Recovery Mentor program, which provides clean and sober housing, drug treatment, and—perhaps most importantly—a mentor who knows first-hand what it takes to stay clean, stay out of prison, and build a “normal” life. We witness the day to day challenges of recovery, the heart-break of relapse, and the simple victories of “normal” life: singing in a church choir, going fishing, watching your daughter graduate from high school. Finding Normal is a rare look into the grit and grace it takes to rebuild a life.

. . . a thoroughly engrossing documentary by Brian Lindstrom about a group of Portland drug addicts and their rehab counselors trying day-by-day to keep themselves clean, sober and together. The film is raw and real, filled with undeniable moments of pain and elation and human personality. It’s impossible to imagine a more honest look at this all-too-common world, and it’s impossible, too, to understand how the film hasn’t gotten exposed in a bigger venue.”

—Shawn Levy, film critic, The Oregonian

‘Finding Normal,’ a documentary about the Recovery Mentor program, stands out as one of the finest films to come out of Portland in years, presenting an emotionally complex portrait of the people who populate this city.”

—David Walker, film critic, Willamette Week

Run time: 57:25; Closed Captioned


Additional information


Higher Education DVD + PPR, Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License, K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR


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Brian Lindstrom is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. He holds an MFA in screenwriting and film directing from Columbia University and BA in communications from Lewis and Clark College. Since 1994 Lindstrom has taught in the Northwest Film Center’s Filmmaker’s Program, using video as a tool of empowerment for at-risk youth. His recent documentaries include Alien Boy: the Life and Death of James Chasse and Mothering Inside.