The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary East End Services Committee is sponsoring a screening of the documentary US AND THEM to bring attention to the issues of homelessness and addiction. The screening is at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7 at the Royal Theatre in Trail.
The RDKB is joining US AND THEM's national efforts to raise awareness about housing and caring for people who are living outside on our streets. At a time when Canada is in the midst of both a housing and opioid crisis, a national effort to raise awareness about homelessness and addiction through a compassionate lens has never been more relevant.
US AND THEM is touring communities across Canada. The response after every show has been incredible; audience members are leaving with a newfound compassion and desire to help the chronically homeless.
US AND THEM was written and directed by Krista Loughton and award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Abbott who joined the project in 2013. Abbott is the co-director and editor of the widely acclaimed film THE CORPORATION, one of Canada's most successful documentaries.
The Canadian tour of US AND THEM will continue into 2018 and the line-up so far has included an exclusive screening on Parliament Hill for all of Canada’s MPs on September 26, 2017. The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, hosted the event. The film also screened at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s (CHRA) Annual Congress in May 2017, and at the Union of BC Municipalities Annual Conference in September 2017.
Everyone is welcome to attend the screening in Trail, regardless of their ability to pay or donate. Admission, for those able, is by non-perishable food item or donation at the door.
The East End Services Committee is made up of elected local government representatives from the municipalities of Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, Electoral Area ‘A’ and Electoral Area ‘B’/Lower Columbia-Old Glory. It provides a forum for the discussion of issues and development of recommendations related to joint local government services in the east end of the RDKB.
Filmed over a decade, US AND THEM is a deeply visceral film about transformation through human connection. It all begins when filmmaker Krista Loughton is questioned by addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté about her need to relieve pain in the world. This takes her back in time when she befriended four chronically homeless people in an effort to help them heal their lives.
Under the mentorship of Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Krista decides to teach her friends how to balance on the First Nations Medicine Wheel. In the beginning, there is connection and hope, but unfortunately, none are able to conquer their addictions or significantly change their lives. And then tragically, one dies. Out of her league, Krista seeks out the counsel of 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.