After a brief correspondence via email I was recently lucky enough to be invited to a private viewing of the new documentary ‘Lost in a K Hole?’ – it’s a sunny June evening as the crew and I set out for the plush screening venue in Leicester Square…
Directed by independent filmmaker Belinda Barnett, the film is a 13 minute look at the UKs rising use of the dissociative anaesthetic ketamine, intended to stimulate debate and raise awareness. Comprising a series of brief interviews framed by some quirky animations, it covers the basics only, albeit presented in a slick and easy to digest format.
The first interview is with Gijsbert Stoet, a cognitive scientist, based at the University of Leeds, who has conducted research into the effects of ketamine on primate brains. Stoet explains that users often experience “typical schizophrenic behaviours” while under the influence, resulting in delusions of grandeur and the like. We’re then introduced to Leeds club promoters Ketaloco, who don’t have much to
offer except that some of their DJs try to replicate the k hole through music.
Moving on, we’re introduced to Geebo, a formerly Brighton-based user who talks about the dangers of mugging, sexual assault and the like resulting from the loss of physical and mental co-ordination induced by the drug. He also touches on the comparatively high risks of dependence and mental health issues arising from regular use.
The final interview is with Matt Whitton, a drug worker from Leeds charity Multiple Choice. He voices the opinion that “there is help” for those finding themselves with a k habit, though more should be provided, as the current support system in place is geared towards more “traditional” addictions, e.g. to heroin and cocaine.
In closing, Belinda mentions that she would have liked to have also covered the rising use of ketamine amongst Eastern Europeans, more general social consequences of use and profitability. To this end she is hoping to secure backing for an expanded, feature-length documentary.
Overall I feel that this is an admirable attempt to both document and raise awareness of the issues at hand – if you’re a total k head then you probably won’t learn much from this, but it’s well thought out, produced and edited. Worth 13 minutes of your jaded life.