Film Review: Breaking Habits

Richard Nixon launched America’s ‘war on drugs’ policy in 1971. It was a federal government led initiative which combined prohibition, military aid and intervention with the aim of eradicating the illegal drugs trade within the USA. After decades of failures, States looked at different ways to tackle the problem. In 1996, California became the first to legalise medical marijuana. It has become a highly lucrative market and one very peculiar nun intends to reap the rewards.

Merced is one of the most dangerous towns in America. However, it is where Sister Kate decided to start her new life. A successful consultant, her world was turned upside down when she discovered her husband was a bigamist and syphoning off her money. Penniless, she fled with her children; determined to make a living through legal cannabidiol (CBD) marijuana production for medical use. This soon spiralled into something far less legitimate and the ‘Sisters of the Valley’ have to battle against local and state law enforcement. She is the subject of Robert Ryan’s new documentary Breaking Habits.

Sister Kate’s history is fascinating but nothing in it quite prepares you for what unfolds in Breaking Habit. She’s become quite the entrepreneur and whilst she plays a cat and mouse game with investigators and the police, the Sisters have to defend themselves against rival outfits. Ryan interviews most of the key players, painting a rounded picture and allowing the story to unfold. The star is undoubtedly Sister Kate herself who is a force to be reckoned with.

Breaking Habits is out in cinemas and on Digital HD on 26 April.

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