Saving Jackie

Saving Jackie - About the Film

“We were filled with that drug, but little did I know that drug was going to take over my entire life and snuff me out as an individual.”
-Jackie Burks

This quote is from the documentary short Saving Jackie, an intimate portrait of a middle-class family destroyed by the abusive nature of drug addiction. Jackie – a 42 year-old recovering crack-cocaine addict – takes an intense look at her life. Through the course of the film she begins to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the deterioration of her relationships with her two daughters, Selena and Lorita.

Set in the midwest, Jackie’s two young daughters are forced to live in a drug-ravaged house in fear of what each day may bring, and hoping that their love for their mother will help her turn away from crack-cocaine and abusive men. With their father Henry out of their lives, Selena and Lorita are subjected to poor living standards in a house without food, electricity or running water. The eldest of two daughters, Selena, becomes Lorita’s surrogate mother at the age of ten. After failed attempts of selling crack to raise money for her sister and herself, Selena revolts against her mother. As a result, Selena and her sister are placed in foster care, thus becoming increasingly disconnected from their mother, Jackie.

Saving Jackie examines the long-term side effects of abusive behaviors on family relationships. Daughter/director Selena A. Burks documents her family’s healing process over the course of three-and-a-half years by capturing life changing events, such as Lorita’s senior prom and her own college graduation, through the use of candid interviews and family photographs.

Selena has devoted her time to showing her film to churches, drug rehabilitation centers, youth groups, high schools and universities. She believes that the message of forgiveness that is conveyed in Saving Jackie is important to be seen by all.

Saving Jackie premiered at the 2005 Sundance International Film Festival and was also an Official Selection of the 2005 Cleveland International Film Festival, 2005 Urbanworld Film Festival, First Annual Black Eyed Susan Film Festival, the 2005 Black Harvest Film Festival and the 2005 African American Film Marketplace.