Copyright Lionsgate

  • Director

    Darren Aronofsky

  • With

    Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans

  • USA 2000. 102min

  • Digital

  • Certificate


Harry, his girlfriend Marion and best friend Tyrone are heroin addicts who will do anything for a fix. Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr’s novel journeys into the abyss with them. Their devil-may-care attitude is reflected in the film’s style, which employs a multitude of cinematic tricks to capture the harrowing depths of addiction. It’s bravura filmmaking, peppered with haunting images that leave an indelible mark, and features a stunning Oscar-nominated turn from Ellen Burstyn.

Content warning: Contains strong violence, drug use and distressing scenes.

BFI Film Academy Recommends

BFI Film Academy Recommends highlights films and events for young people aged 16-25, picked by the BFI Film Academy Young Programmers.

Requiem for a Dream is an extraordinary concoction of darkness, love, addiction and desperation. Its repetitive nature keeps us locked in an endless cycle, unable to escape from the turmoil of these tortured characters’ lives. With unconventional visuals, like fish-eye lens shots, alongside split screen and jump cut effects, it’s a masterclass in editing and style, with multiple classic film references. A heartbreaking yet universal tale of dreams lost, this haunting and unorthodox watch is a tough one to forget.

Young Programmer, Francesca Tomlinson