Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Self-Destruction of Gia [2003]

The Self-Destruction of Gia [2003]
A film by: JJ Martin

November was AIDS awareness month and I was randomly searching up information on Zoe Lund (Ms.45/Bad Lieutenant) when I came across some information about her working on a movie about the infamous, heroin addicted fashion model Gia Carangi. Gia passed away of AIDS on November 18, 1986 at 26yrs old and had contracted the HIV virus from sharing dirty needles. Lund, also a heroin addict, had spoken out about what it feels like to be an addict and what the drug does to your mind, body and soul. Unfortunately, Lund passed away in 1999 due to heart failure at 37yrs old from her drug use. The footage was incorporated into a film/documentary on Gia called The Self-Destruction of Gia that came out in 2003. I looked up the website and took a chance on buying the film directly off the site The Self-Destruction of Gia. I figured it would be a DVD-r or something, but this is what I got and it's pretty sweet.

The actual "film" seems a bit rough around the edges, especially the opening which lingers on a photo of Gia while an entire song plays over it. Then it jumps into the actual story, with titles and a voice-over narrative until we get to the personal interviews inter cut with more photos and home video footage. So, have patience with the documentary, it's not perfect by any means.

I've been drawn to Gia since I was a teen. I saw the cover of Stephen Fried's "Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia" on sale in a store in the mid-90's.

I started to read a few random pages about this woman, some things hit home, I looked at her face and her pictures and that was it. I ended up getting that book for Christmas that year. So, I have been watching and reading up on Gia for quite a while. I was wondering if the material on this dvd could be just a bunch of information we've all read or heard about before. Well, to be honest, it kind of is, BUT it's all directly shown from the perspective of the people who were around her, worked with her or knew her best. It's a really great detailed verbal retrospective of Gia's life, from childhood; incest, sexual abuse, rapid success in the modeling industry, partying, recreational drug use, her crazy behaviour, love for women, unrequited love with makeup artist Sandy Linter, her heroin addiction, shooting gallery/dirty needles, sexual favors for drugs, rape, sickness, aids, and sadly her ultimate death laying in a hospital bed hooked up to a mass of machines. Seeing Gia's mother speaking about her daughters last 4wks of life and seeing her daughters flesh fall off of her body while she was dying in the hospital is heart-breaking. Other interviews include, Janice Dickinson and I don't understand why she has to be so loud and over-bearing. Can she not just talk normal? Photographer Francesco Scavullo, designers Vera Wang, Diane von F├╝rstenberg, Zoe Lund, Lori Hamilton, and drug counselor/former addict Robert Hilton.
Included in the film is rare home video footage, a good deal of her with Sandy Linter, personal childhood photos and the full TV interview Gia did for 20/20. When Gia speaks about her modeling agent and close friend Wilhelmina Cooper, you can see it all in her face how much she cared for her and how much her death affected her. Which was a big contributor at that time to her downward spiral into heroin addiction.
So, If you are a fan or have any interest in Gia and hearing about her directly from the people who knew her, I highly recommend this dvd.




Show GIA some love.


  1. sounds really great, heroin addiction and destruction is a really powerful subject that always leaves me in a mood like no other. although i've never even heard of this woman i'm tempted to check this one out. im also excited and scared for black metal veins.

  2. Hey Lori, this is Laserdiscfan. Wondering what happened to your YT channel. Did you take it down on your own?

    Lemme know what's up, okay?