Recovery Unplugged Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

Nico Biopic Focuses on Life after Heroin Addiction

On August 1, American film audiences will be privy to a new biopic about the last two years of singer and musician Nico’s life. Many who are familiar with the explosive, tragic and prolific life of the gifted German-born songwriter and former Velvet Underground singer were undoubtedly expecting something different, forever associating her with bandmate Lou Reed and heroin addiction. Nico struggled with heroin addiction for over 15 years and it’s very easy, and unfortunately common, to characterize her life as a never-ending cycle of excess and turbulence alongside figures like Lou Reed and Andy Warhol; filmmaker Susanna Nicchiarelli had an altogether different representational idea when she decided to make the film.

Nico’s Life after Addiction and Heroin Recovery

The aptly named Nico, 1988 zeroes in on a little-explored phase of the singer’s life, far removed from her days as Warhol’s “Pop Girl of ‘66” and the voice of the Velvet Underground, in a time in which she is free to write and perform her own raw and unflinching material. The film, however, is not without its elements of tragedy, even separate from the ultimate conclusion of Nico’s fatal bike-riding accident in Ibiza at 49 years of age. It gives a raw and honest depiction of the role she played in her son’s heroin addiction by introducing him to the drug, and paints a picture of sad, albeit free and independent, last chapter of her musical career.

A Different and Honest Take on Nico’s Life

Nico has long been a polarizing and complicated pop culture figure and continues to endure as such 30 years after her death. Early reviews of this latest account of her life largely agree that it does a fair job of parsing the flaws, heroin addiction, accomplishments, regrets and hindsight that will forever comprise her legacy. It also reminds us that even those addicts who we think are the most far-gone and desperate can bounce back and reclaim their lives, and that there’s more to them than just their substance abuse. Perhaps the most valuable lesson to be gleaned from Nico’s brief, wild and complicated life is that, in the last two years of her existence, it was writing and playing her own music that ultimately sustained and satisfied her.

Share Tweet Share Pin Text Email

Related Content

Blue Cross Blue Shield for Drug Rehab: Does My Insurance Cover Treatment?

You can, in fact, use your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance to pay for rehab and addiction treatment. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is one of the largest health insurance providers in the country. The company i...

4 Myths about Online Rehab

We now do everything online, from getting our food to meeting our soulmates to earning the money that makes both possible. We’ve also been relying on remote spaces more and more to manage our mental health, i...

Dry January: How You Can Participate and Why It’s ALWAYS A Good Idea

Drink too much this holiday season? Been drinking too much all year? Been drinking too much your whole life? If you answered yes to any of these, you could start taking your health and life back from alcohol by...