Us & Them Film Review
On November 6th, 200 caring community members took the time to come to The Film House at the Performing Arts Centre to learn more about homelessness.
United Way hosted a screening of the documentary Us & Them, a film designed to shed light on the reality of homelessness and encourage proactive solutions. In it, filmmaker Krista Loughton follows the lives of four chronically homeless individuals in Victoria, British Columbia. Each one of them has a traumatic story to tell, enduring unspeakable pain which leads to addiction and, eventually, homelessness.
Getting to know the four characters through Krista’s eyes is deeply moving, and allows the audience to share in her experiences of increased understanding, compassion and, at times, joy. Her perspective on homelessness is unique, as each character is seen through the lens of friendship rather than of clinical study. One friend shares memories of a normal life, eagerly sharing photographs of a husband and children, taken before a series of tragedies sent her life into a downward spiral from which she could not recover.
"I thought it was really good. I liked how it highlighted their humanness and emotional struggles" - Viewer
All of the featured individuals represent a startlingly real cross-section of our community - intelligent, wise, articulate, and loving. In the words of one character, “We all go through our own personal Hell…each one of us. The only difference is the amount of pain we have to endure.” The film shatters misconceptions about why people end up on the streets, and why it is so hard to reintegrate into healthy society. “It all comes back to pain and trauma” explained United Way Executive Director, Frances Hallworth.
The screening was followed by a discussion panel, with audience members encouraged to ask questions and to seek support as needed. “We are all leaving a little wiser” commented one guest as she filed out of the theatre. Ultimately, all left understanding that there is no “Us and Them”. There is only US - all of us.