This short film is a telling portrait of the discourse about and treatment of alcohol addiction in the middle of the 20th century. In a fictional setting, the film examines the insecurities and inner motivations that cause the protagonist to lean on alcohol. His job and home life are threatened by his addiction, and the doctor to whom he finally turns explains the medical and other resources available to him.
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.
The women who seek help at Aurora House share a common illness: they are physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, or a combination of these. This documentary focuses on the lives of five women at various stages of their rehabilitation. In the supportive and healing atmosphere of women helping other women, they are confronting the issues and feelings they had previously drunk or drugged out of consciousness. Turnaround is a film that will be of special interest to the families, friends and colleagues of people who suffer from addiction, as well as to professionals who are interested in exploring alternative methods of treatment.
This short documentary focuses on the children of alcoholics. In the relaxed environment of a mountain campsite, a group of young people discuss their anger and frustration, and talk about their struggle to cope with the problems created by their parents' drinking. By sharing their experiences, they open a door for others like them. Aimed primarily at an audience of elementary school children and older, this film provides an excellent vehicle for generating discussion about alcohol abuse and the family.
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 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”?
Murray Siple's feature-length documentary follows a group of homeless men who have combined bottle picking with the extreme sport of racing shopping carts down the steep hills of North Vancouver. This subculture shows that street life is much more than the stereotypes portrayed in mainstream media.
The film takes a deep look into the lives of the men who race carts, the adversity they face and the appeal of cart racing despite the risk. Shot in high-definition and featuring tracks from Black Mountain, Ladyhawk, Vetiver, Bison, and Alan Boyd of Little Sparta.
This feature-length documentary from Inuvialuit filmmaker Dennis Allen is an emotional and revealing exploration of addiction among Indigenous people in Canada.After years of struggle and shame, 5 Indigenous Canadians bravely come forward with their stories of substance abuse, presenting the sensitive topic of alcoholism in an honest and forthright manner. Alex, Paula, Desirae, Stephen, and Dennis himself maintain a deep and devoted commitment to their traditional culture to achieve long-term sobriety. Through their voices, this insightful doc offers an inspirational beacon of hope for others.
This feature documentary is a portrait of the downtown Toronto neighbourhood of Dundas and Sherbourne, where the gap between rich and poor is growing wide. There, middle-class homeowners, angry radicals, desperate drug addicts and people simply looking for a place to lay their head are embattled in a bitter struggle for space. Angel, a prostitute and drug addict, dodges the law. Bed-and-breakfast owner Renée rails against the sex and drug trade. Community organizer John Clarke advocates direct action in defence of the poor. And at the eye of this storm is Reverend Jeannie Loughrey, whose drop-in centre provides much-needed help for the poor, yet homeowners accuse the centre of harbouring criminals and are lobbying to shut it down. Contains coarse language and scenes of drug use.
A woman plays out her existence on the screen of her life. Alcohol is the essence of her being. She imbibes her youth and becomes completely absorbed by the desire to satisfy her thirst. Moving from parties to binge drinking, pleasure to distress, joy to delirium, she lets herself be lulled by the undulating waves of bottles. She floats in the intoxicating liquid, sees her childhood re-emerge, and feels as if she is a tiny fish lost in an ocean of madness. Her craving for alcohol engenders a burning passion. Drinking becomes a fatal embrace... On the verge of drowning in the torrent of this insane obsession, will she find the strength to rise to the surface?
Soif is a tragedy in five acts centered on a woman who must confront the fate of her existence. Michèle Cournoyer (The Hat) has created another hard-hitting film. She broaches a sensitive topic in her inimitable style, using black ink on paper to render dazzling metamorphoses.
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.
This short documentary follows Jimmy Quinlan, one of the estimated 5000 men and women who lived in the streets and alleys of Montreal in the late 1970s. The film casts a harsh light on the realities of life on the street, as Jimmy battles his addictions; sobriety is a goal he's tried to achieve before and will probably have to try again. In and out of shelters, Jimmy's life is anything but stable, but his unique personality shines through in this affecting portrait.