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 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.
This feature documentary is a factual account of the life of policemen at one station in Montreal, drawn from 60 days and nights of on-the-spot filming in the early 1970s. It is a view of life in the inner city that usually only the policeman has reason to encounter. There are ugly incidents here, but there is also reassurance that people in trouble do have help at hand.
10–7 for Life is a funny, raw and occasionally violent chronicle of the last two weeks of Carol Banks's career as a cop in Parkdale, Toronto. Exploring the contrasts and absurdities of patrolling the streets, the film looks at everything from the now-almost-routine gang shootings to a colleague's shocking murder, while also capturing what Banks describes as "babysitting" – officers trying to help people who can't look after themselves. Filmed by Carol's sister, Cindy Banks, this film offers a rare inside look at a police force struggling to cope with an increasingly violent city, and an intimate portrait of one burnt-out cop who has to get out for her own peace of mind.
The misbehaving public performs for the camera in a half-hour miscellany of misdeeds. In a behind-the-scenes look at the hour-by-hour operation of a large metropolitan police force, this film presents a fair sampling of what keeps Toronto's police officers busy twenty-four hours a day.
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”?
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.
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.
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.
Based on true facts, this short 1947 dramatization depicts the investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to catch the criminal who murdered a salesman from Regina, Saskatchewan.
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.
Ages 16 to 17
Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Law
Topics for class discussion: Smith’s style of policing, the effectiveness of his style of policing, the response of his clientele to his policing style, the response of his superiors to his style, his passion for cleaning up the neighbourhood where he works. Discuss how Smith’s policing style differs from that of any police officers you have encountered.