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