A powerful film bringing attention to the issues of housing, the stigma of addiction and caring for people living on the streets is coming to Maple Ridge, Thursday, Sept. 12.
Us and Them, was filmed over a decade and is written and directed by Krista Loughton and filmmaker Jennifer Abbott, the co-director and editor of the widely acclaimed film, The Corporation.
The film begins when Loughton is questioned by addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté about her need to relieve the pain in the world. She is taken back to a time when she befriended four homeless people in an effort to help them heal their lives.
The movie tells the story of four homeless people and the realities of their lives on the street. Each one is struggling with addiction issues rooted in painful childhood histories.
At first, under the mentorship of Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Loughton decides to teach her friends how to balance on the First Nations medicine wheel. In the beginning, there is connection and hope, but unfortunately, none is able to conquer their addictions or significantly change their lives and one ends up dying.
It is only when Loughton talks to Dr. Maté who forces her to confront her own motivations that she confesses her own emotional struggles with her remaining street friends.
Us and Them is touring North American communities into 2020 and the lineup so far has included a screening on Parliament Hill for all of Canada’s MPs hosted by the Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development.
The film also screened at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Annual Congress, the Housing First Partners Conference in Los Angeles, and the United Way Worldwide Community Impact and Leadership Conference.
Stop Overdose Ridge Meadows has partnered with the Community Network and The Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie, Seniors Network to bring the film to Maple Ridge.
Project manager Kim Dumore is amazed to work on a project with so many community partners.
“Stigma effects everyone in some way. We are not trying to change minds with this film we are hoping to perhaps open some,” she said.
The free event will include a dinner and a thoughtful, moderated community discussion prior to the movie screening. The event will be facilitated by Khari Wendell McClelland, an award-winning musician and sought-after facilitator who uses the arts and experiential activities for transformational learning.
Recently, McClelland received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada.
Us and Them documentary screening and community dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12 at Thomas Haney secondary in Maple Ridge. The film will start at 7:30 p.m.
To reserve a free ticket go to Eventbrite.