Skip to main content

EAST HASTINGS PHARMACY

Canada, 2012 (MIFF 2013, International Panorama)

Director: Antoine Bourges

"Against an austere backdrop, East Hastings Pharmacy transforms the methodical routine of methadone dispensing into the mechanics of gripping drama." - DOXA Documentary Film Festival Jury

With this mid-length feature, director Antoine Bourges delivers an aesthetically bold and uniquely assured work that spotlights the individual stories - both factual and fictionalised - of marginalised people in the down-at-heel Vancouver suburb of East Hastings. Staged entirely inside an exemplar drugstore, the film chronicles the ritualistic interactions between the pharmacist who administers methadone and the addicts, who ‘play themselves'.

The extraordinary result is subtle and restrained yet immersive and bolstered with a tension through its stark photography. Through the interactions, negotiations and confrontations questions are asked not just about society's approach to addiction and the war on drugs but about documentaries and the meaning of reality.

Winner: Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival.

"Simultaneously a fictionalization, a reconstruction, and a documentation … At once rigorous and open-ended, East Hastings Pharmacy is fascinated but never intrusive, respectful but never sentimental, empathetic without pity or condescension." - Cinema Scope

D/S Antoine Bourges P Antoine Bourges, Dan Montgomery, Kazik Radwanski WS Medium Density Fibreboard Films TD HD Cam/2012

See also...

TOWER

"One of the year's most jarring and accomplished debuts." - Cinema Scope ... Despite the film's lofty title, the man at the centre of Tower lives life in the mundane. Derek is a balding, 30-something ... More »

ATANARJUAT THE FAST RUNNER

Evil in the form of an unknown shaman, divides a small community of nomadic Inuit, upsetting its balance and spirit. 20 years pass and two brothers emerge to challenge the evil order: Amaqjuaq. the ... More »

POST MORTEM

Post Mortem is a strange, absorbing tale of love, crime and redemption. The film focuses on two people, Linda and Ghislain, whose lives are linked in a unique way. Linda is devoted to her ... More »

THE TROTSKY

Join the revolution. ... Fighting the apathy of his peers,17-year old student Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel) is the reincarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky - or so he believes. His plans ... More »

YOU ARE HERE

"[You Are Here] offers a series of episodes that slide over one another like a palimpsest... That tingle in your frontal lobe means that it's working." - Cinema Scope ... When a reclusive woman (the ... More »

LOVE COME DOWN

The Tales of Neville and Matthew, two brothers, one black and one white. They have been each others keeper since their family was torn apart by a decade old tragedey. Neville is a comedian struggling ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director