The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

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    • Directed by:  Asia Argento
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2004
Running Time: 97 min
Language: English,
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects:  Narrative Fiction

Steeped in controversy, unflinching, unforgettable... Asia Argento’s adaptation of J.T. Leroy’s best selling novel The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things is a searing exploration of trauma and survival in the underside of America’s heartland. Headlining one of the most intriguing casts of the 2000s, which includes Peter Fonda, Ornella Muti, Jeremy Renner, Lydia Lunch, Ben Foster, and Winona Ryder, Argento stars as Sarah, a woman who rips her son (played at various points by Jimmy Bennett, Dylan, and Cole Sprouse) out of foster care and throws him into her transient life as a sex worker at truck stops. 

Leroy was later revealed to be a fabrication of author Laura Albert and her sibling-in-law Savannah Knoop, a story that broke the year after THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS was released. Argento’s blistering second feature finds real pain in a historic hoax, traveling to dark places most directors fear to tread.

AFI Fest Los Angeles, CA • Cleveland International Film Festival Cleveland, OH • Independent Film Festival Of Boston Boston, MA • Longbaugh Film Festival Portland, OR • Milwaukee International Film Festival Milwaukee, WI • Nashville Film Festival Nashville, TN • SXSW Austin, TX Toronto International Film Festival Toronto, ON
"While many have tried to tackle the idea that 'growing up is hell' few have been as daring, effective or brutal as Asia Argento’s second feature film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things."
— Greg Bellavia, Film Threat

About the filmmaker 


Asia Argento was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of actors and filmmakers, both occupations which she has herself pursued. She made her debut when she was only nine years old in Sergio Citti's Sogni e bisogni (1985).
In 1994 Asia turned her hand to directing and turned out two short films: "Prospettive" (an episode of the film De Generazione (1994)) and "A ritroso". In 1996 she directed a documentary on her father and, in 1998, one on cult director Abel Ferrara, Abel/Asia (1998), which won an award at the Rome Film Festival. In 1999 Asia made her feature-directing debut with Scarlet Diva (2000), in which she was the leading actress and author of the screenplay. The film was released in May 2000 in Italy and the rest of the world. It won an award at the Williamsburg Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York. In 2001, after directing a number of music videos, she gave birth to her first daughter, Anna Lou. In 2002 she starred in The Red Siren (2002) by Olivier Megaton with Jean-Marc Barr and the action thriller xXx (2002), directed by Rob Cohen, with Vin Diesel.
Asia is also the author of a number of short stories published in many prestigious magazines such as "Dynamo," "L'Espresso," "Sette," and "Village," Her first novel, "I Love You, Kirk," was published in Italy by Frassinelli Editrice in October 1999 and in France by Florent Massot in 2001.


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