This article needs additional citations for verification . (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Through a Blue Lens|
|Directed by||Veronica Alice Mannix|
Through a Blue Lens is a Canadian documentary film produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The film follows interactions between police officers and drug addicts and documents the extreme poverty and suffering many addicts endure.
Through a Blue Lens was produced by the National Film Board of Canada and directed by Veronica Alice Mannix. It was shot in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The film is 52 minutes in length and incorporates 22 minutes of footage shot by a group of Vancouver Police Officers called The Odd Squad Productions Society.
This award-winning documentary film, shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s notorious Downtown Eastside, caught the eyes of audiences, film makers and critics worldwide for its unusual and sensitive depiction of life on the street.
Through A Blue Lens documents a year of life and death on the street and behind tenement walls. A striking aspect of the film is not only the horror of drug abuse but the story of how the interaction between the police and the drug addicts, with the camera as a catalyst, actually changed the people involved. The cops became more sympathetic to the people on the street and the drug addicts, in having friendship extended to them by the police and film makers, developed self-esteem and, in some cases, actually cleaned up.
This documentary was made during the height of the then unpublished scandal of the missing women in downtown Vancouver. At least one of the women who appears on camera named April Reoch was later identified was thought to be one of the victims. She died on Christmas Day of 2000. It was later discovered that she was murdered by Ian Mathieson Rowe, and not by Robert Pickton.
While the Mannix team was filming their previous documentary, Down Here, they met two officers who had something to say about the gentrification of the Downtown Eastside. The officers had been using still cameras to document many of the circumstances people suffered and took these images to local schools to educate youth.
The Mannix’s were asked by the officers to teach them to use a video camera, so they started by teaching camera handling, camera ethics and power relationships. Following videotaping, the officers would leave the video tapes with Veronica Mannix for screening and comments. Her comments would include direction on follow-up with specific participants. It was during this time that Veronica's vision formed of the relationship of these two unlikely groups of people coming together to try to make a difference. She pitched the story and the National Film Board supported her vision. Veronica used 22 minutes of the officers' 100 hours of videotape; the remainder of the footage was shot by Daniel Mannix as directed by Veronica. Through a Blue Lens started out with seven police officers and nineteen drug users. The final participants included four officers and six drug users.
The NFB producer is Gillian Darling Kovanic with Daniel C. Mannix as director of photography. The editor is Shelly Hamer. Running time is 52 minutes.
An official follow-up titled Tears For April: Beyond The Blue Lens (2007), re-introduces the late April Reoch and focuses directly on her struggles with addiction until the discovery of her body on Christmas Day, 2000. Reoch's son Daniel, is also featured in this documentary. The other five users from the previous documentary have made appearances with updated details. Randy Miller, a former user, has successfully stayed sober since 2000 (Miller later had a series of strokes and still lives in New Westminster with his common-law wife Deb). Co-director Al Arsenault, a retired police officer experienced in martial arts, chronicles his experiences with April before her death.
Tears For April: Beyond The Blue Lens was independently produced by The Odd Squad Productions Society. It is co-directed by Al Arsenault and Ken Jubenvill, with writing by Steve Berry.
The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas. In total, the NFB has produced over 3,000 productions since its inception, which have won over 5,000 awards. The NFB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It has English-language and French-language production branches.
Philip Walter Owen was the 36th mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia from 1993 to 2002, making him one of Vancouver's longest serving mayors. His father was Walter S. Owen, who was Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia from 1973 to 1978.
The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is a neighbourhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The area, one of the city's oldest, is the site of a complex set of social issues including extremely high levels of drug use, homelessness, poverty, crime, mental illness, and prostitution. It is also known for its strong community resilience and history of social activism.
Ian Harvey Hanomansing is a Canadian television journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He formerly hosted CBC News Network Vancouver on CBC News Network, and reports for CBC Television's nightly newscast, The National.
Insite is the first legal supervised drug injection site in North America, located at 139 East Hastings Street, in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia. The DTES had 4700 chronic drug users in 2000 and has been considered to be the centre of an "injection drug epidemic". The site provides a supervised and health-focused location for injection drug use, primarily heroin. The clinic does not supply any drugs. Medical staff are present to provide addiction treatment, mental health assistance, and first aid in the event of an overdose or wound. In 2017, the site recorded 175,464 visits by 7,301 unique users; 2,151 overdoses occurred with no fatalities, due to intervention by medical staff. The site also offers a free checking service so clients can check their substances for fentanyl and carfentanil. Health Canada has provided $500,000 per year to operate the site, and the BC Ministry of Health contributed $1,200,000 to renovate the site and cover operating costs. Insite also serves as a resource for those seeking to use a harm reduction approach for people who inject drugs around the world. In recent months and years, delegations from a number of countries are on record touring the facility, including various U.S. states, Colombia and Brazil.
John Wilfred Turvey, was a long-time advocate for the disadvantaged in Vancouver, British Columbia. After becoming a heroin addict at 13 years old and dropping out of Barr Beacon School in year 10, John Turvey went on to found and serve as the Executive Director of the Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society for 20 years. He died of mitochondrial myopathy in Comox, British Columbia at the age of 61.
Pivot Legal Society is a legal advocacy organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia's Downtown Eastside. Founded in 2001, Pivot's goal is to represent and defend the interests of marginalized communities affected by poverty and social exclusion. It accomplishes this through strategic litigation and public advocacy directed at government.
The Vancouver Police Union (VPU) is a trade union representing 1,450 front-line police officers, jail guards and special constables of the Vancouver Police Department in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Vancouver Agreement was an initiative undertaken jointly by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver, to develop and revitalize Vancouver, and in particular its Downtown Eastside, through collaboration between projects and ministries at all three levels of government, as well as community and business groups. While other parts of the city are also targeted by the initiative, its Downtown Eastside area is notorious across Canada for its deep problems with poverty, substance abuse, prostitution, violent crime and homelessness, and the agreement’s stated goals include promoting the health, safety and economic and social well being of the neighbourhood. The initial five-year agreement began in March, 2000 and expired in March, 2010.
Wendy Poole Park is a small triangular plot of parkland near the waterfront in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, British Columbia. The land is at Alexander Street and the Main Street Overpass, and it was named by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation for a young aboriginal woman who was murdered nearby in 1989. The park contains a memorial boulder inscribed with information about Poole.
Charles Officer is a Jamaican-Canadian writer, actor, director and former professional hockey player.
Finding Dawn is a 2006 documentary film by Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh looking into the fate of an estimated 500 Canadian Aboriginal women who have been murdered or have gone missing over the past 30 years.
Lincoln Clarkes is an award-winning photographer, who has published three books, Heroines (2002), Views (2005) and Cyclists (2013) and has been the subject of two documentary films. Heroines is an epic photographic documentary of 400 addicted women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which won the 2003 Vancouver Book Award, and was the subject of numerous philosophical essays. The London Observer said Clarkes' book offered "beauty in a beastly place." Globe and Mail called it "intimate, compelling and undeniably unsettling," while The Toronto Star called it "incredibly powerful." In the summer of 2017, the Canadian art collector Bob Rennie purchased the entire Heorines photographic collection and archive.
Pacificanada is a National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Canadian documentary television miniseries about British Columbia which aired on CBC Television in 1975.
Tu as crié LET ME GO is a 1997 feature-length documentary by Anne Claire Poirier exploring the events that led to the murder of her daughter, Yanne, who had turned to drugs and prostitution before being murdered at the age of twenty-six. The film was shot in Montreal and produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
Bear 71 is a 2012 interactive National Film Board of Canada (NFB) web documentary by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes about a grizzly bear in Banff National Park, who was collared at the age of three and was watched her whole life via trail cameras in the park. In March 2017, Bear 71 was re-released as a virtual reality work, viewable on Google Daydream and Google Cardboard.
Highrise is a multi-year, multimedia documentary project about life in residential highrises, directed by Katerina Cizek and produced by Gerry Flahive for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). The project, which began in 2009, includes five web documentaries—The Thousandth Tower, Out My Window, One Millionth Tower, A Short History of the Highrise and Universe Within: Digital Lives in the Global Highrise—as well as more than 20 derivative projects such as public art exhibits and live performances.
Sasha Knezev, is a Serbian American filmmaker and author. He has written, produced and directed feature films, short films, commercials, and has authored a book on Eastern European film titled Through the Western Lens, that was published in Europe. Knezev is the son of Serbian immigrants from Šabac, Serbia, a cultural and iconic city in the former Yugoslavia that was a breeding ground for artists, musicians and writers. Knezev's grandfather Milan was a theatrical actor, his father a singer and mother an art and set-designer.
Unclaimed, released as On the Farm in some international markets, is a Canadian TV film starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Sara Canning, Patrick Gallagher, Kevin McNulty, Tantoo Cardinal, and Sarah Strange. It is a dramatic narrative adapted from journalist Stevie Cameron's 2010 book of the same name, examining the years leading to serial killer Robert Pickton's arrest and the court proceedings before his conviction.
Fix: The Story of an Addicted City is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Nettie Wild and released in 2003. The film centres on Vancouver's campaign to launch Insite, North America's first legal supervised injection site for injection drug users.
North of everything Through a Blue Lens.