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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Silent Tongue

Talbot Roe

Awbonnie Roe
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

"I lied and I contradicted myself to destabilize people"

I see two difficulties: the first one is the sources. One main source is the films and his interviews. As his words show, I'm not sure we can count on them at 100 %! At a few exceptions, we cannot rely on direct knowledge. After his death, the family and close friends just expressed their love and reminded us of River's main qualities, which is normal and dignified. And the press was... the press: from hagiographers making River a martyr or a victim to scavengers presenting a vicious liar.

It's more or less the same with the majority of the books written immediately after his death. Their main problem is that they have to sum up 23 years in 200 pages. So they insist on his more controversial behaviours and sometimes enjoy describing a very sad life. The only question you would ask when you close them is: did River ever laugh?

So, when there is no other choice, I will have to trust my own impressions and common sense, if I've got any.

I genuinely hope this method won't hurt anybody or I would be sorry for that. But I think the only way is to be as frank as possible and not afraid of taking all the arguments, even the arguable ones. When I'll reach River's drinking or drugs problems, some will find that I am not always very friendly with him. You may probably disagree with my attempt to make a psychological portrait. In any case, before love, there is always respect.

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