Homelessness is a topic that has been front and centre in the Cowichan Valley the past few months and we have an incredible opportunity to show for the first time in Cowichan a new documentary film shot in Victoria with Filmmaker Krista Loughton. Joining her to guide us through this night is inspirational Speaker Al Etmanski who will share with us why our initiatives don’t have the impact we would like, explore the three possible reason this is happening and discuss what we can do to change our story.
Al Etmanski will help us explore the following issues our community is facing.
1. We aren't in love with the issue ourselves - its mystery, its brokenness, its contradictions, its beauty and ugliness - it’s in our heads more than our hearts.
2. We haven't found a way to tap into what it is about the issues that people care deeply about.
3. We haven't found a way to make our issue loveable
US AND THEM shatters misconceptions about why people end up on the streets through its compassionate narrative. Krista Loughton lends a familiarity to all that she interviews. Krista's subjects aren't "just homeless." They are not faceless apparitions wandering the streets. These people are the friends and family that we all know in our communities, who need our support.
Dr. Bernie Pauly, a CARBC Scientist, says, “There is so much stigma surrounding substance use and homelessness. Films like US AND THEM provide us with an opportunity to break down the stigma that people face daily.”
10 YEARS IN THE MAKING, A WOMAN SETS OUT TO HELP FOUR HOMELESS PEOPLE
BUT THEY END UP HELPING HER
Filmed over a decade, Us and Them is a deeply visceral film about transformation through human connection.
It begins when addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté about her need to relieve pain in the world questions filmmaker Krista Loughton. This takes her back in time, when she befriended four chronically homeless people in an effort to help them heal their lives.
These four charismatic people reveal the heartrending realities of their lives. The severe challenges of life on the street are portrayed with an unapologetic openness, in both emotive and humorous ways. All are struggling with addiction issues rooted in their painful childhood histories.
Out of her league, Krista seeks out the counsel Dr. Maté, who forces her to confront her own motivations. Krista confesses her own emotional struggles with her remaining street friends. They display an extraordinary empathy and wisdom no one could have anticipated.