Bevel Up follows street nurses as they reach out to people working in the sex trade, and people who use drugs in the alleys and hotels of Vancouver’s inner city. Most importantly the nurses reflect on the attitudes they bring to their work—attitudes that can make or break their relationships with the people to whom they provide practical, non-judgemental health care on a daily basis.
The Bevel Up Educational Playlists offer viewers a dynamic way to learn through more than four hours of additional footage, interviews and a Teachers Guide. The interactive resource gives students and instructors in the healthcare field access to the experiences of practitioners who work with people who use drugs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
For more information, images, and clips, click here.
This gripping documentary takes a powerful look at the lives of people with substance use disorder in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Filmmaker Veronica Alice Mannix follows Constable Al Arsenault and six other police officers on their daily beat, documenting their unique relationships with people who speak candidly about their painful past experiences, their drug addiction, and life on the street.
Drugs. They sneak into your life, into your veins. You wake up and you're all alone in the depths. But the Earth keeps turning. Since 2004, the travelling studios of Wapikoni Mobile have enabled Quebec First Nations youth to express themselves through videos and music. This short film was made with the guidance of these travelling studios and is part of the 2008 selection.
The NFB's 31st Oscar®-nominated film.
This film is a revealing portrait of a tough cop with a big heart. Sergeant Bernie "Whistling" Smith walks the beat on Vancouver's Eastside, the hangout of petty criminals, down-and-outs and a variety of characters. His policing is unorthodox. To many drug users, petty thieves and prostitutes in this economically depressed area he is more than the iron hand of the law, he is also a counsellor and a friend.
This feature documentary tells the story of 2 teens who head out west in search of self. Like a quarter of Vancouver’s itinerant youth population, Mélo and Ti-criss made the trip from Quebec, hopeful for a better life. Still minors, the pair seeks escape and adventure, perhaps the meaning of life. From east to west, from the streets to a hotel, with a welcome interlude in the country, they seek their place in society.
This short documentary tackles the topic of tranquilizers, a family of pharmaceutical drugs Canadians are avid consumers of. In the form of an ongoing dialogue for and against these drugs, the film introduces us to doctors and patients who approach the prescription issue from different angles. Is there such a thing as an “easy pill”?
In this feature-length documentary, photographer Nance Ackerman describes the havoc prescription painkiller OxyContin wreaked in the already weakened Cape Breton town of Glace Bay. The film guides us through a culture of economic and social depression where we encounter men and women at different stages of dependency. Demystifying the world of the addict while showing us the complex social nexus that led to such despair, Cottonland emphasizes the importance of a collective approach to tackling addiction.
This documentary offers a compassionate, open-minded look at LSD and how it fits into our world. Long before Timothy Leary urged a generation to "tune in, turn on and drop out," the drug was hailed as a way to treat forms of addiction and mental illness. At the same time, it was being touted as a powerful tool for mental exploration and self-understanding. Featuring interviews with LSD pioneers, beautiful music and stunning cinematography, this is much more than a simple chronicle of LSD's early days. It's an alternative way of looking at the drug... and our world.
Just north of the City of Edmonton lies Poundmaker’s Lodge, an addiction and mental-health facility specializing in treatment for Indigenous people. Founded in 1973 and still operational today, the Lodge’s programs and services are Indigenous-run and based in culturally appropriate recovery and healing techniques. Framing the short documentary with the words of the great Plains Cree Chief Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), Alanis Obomsawin presents a frank examination of the root causes of substance abuse in Indigenous communities and how the absence of love and support – exacerbated by the impacts of colonialism and racism – created a legacy of alcoholism for some individuals.
This feature-length documentary explores the diabetes epidemic within Indigenous communities in Canada. Ojibway filmmaker Brion Whitford lives with the pain of advanced diabetes, but shunned traditional Indigenous medicine and healing practices. But as his health deteriorated, he had a change of heart. Join Brion as he connects with his culture, comes to grips with his own mortality, and tries to re-establish balance in his life.
WARNING: This film discusses the topic of OCD. Viewer discretion is advised.
This feature documentary explores the daily lives of individuals living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a misunderstood anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, nagging fears and ritualistic behaviour. From the outside, its sufferers have no physical disabilities and have every appearance of being as functional as the next person. But inside, a daily war is waged for survival.
This short film is a re-enactment of the critical year in Dr. Frederick Banting's life when he discovered insulin for the treatment of diabetes at the University of Toronto. It depicts the odds against which he and his assistant, Charles Best, worked; the scepticism of other doctors and the final victory that gave thousands of diabetics hope for a healthier life.
Ages 15 to 18
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Social Policies and Programs
Bevel Up addresses many key issues, including:
Suggestions for viewing
Here are some issues, questions and themes to reflect on while watching Bevel Up:
1. The relational skills nurses use
2. The social policies related to criminalization of drugs
3. The social construction of addiction
4. Approaches to addiction treatment