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The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan

The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan

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.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

  • producer
    Robert Duncan
    Janice Brown
    Andy Thomson
  • director
    George Mihalka
    George Williams
  • script
    Robert Duncan
    Janice Brown
    Andy Thomson
  • editing
    Robert Duncan
    Janice Brown
    Andy Thomson
  • executive producer
    Peter Katadotis
  • photography
    Rodney Gibbons
  • sound
    Donald Cohen
  • sound editing
    Abbey Jack Neidik
  • re-recording
    Michel Descombes
  • narrator
    Earl Pennington


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Ages 16 to 17

Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World

Students can research the term skid row, showing how it applies to some parts of large cities. Discuss Jimmy’s agony as depicted in the film; do students believe that he is capable of overcoming his demons? Discuss what his future might hold if he is successful. Suggest why his fellow alcoholics on the street do not support his choice to quit drinking.

The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan
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