Streets of Plenty

Streets of Plenty

2010, Society  -   241 Comments
Ratings: 5.99/10 from 187 users.

An unprecedented look into the underworld of Vancouver's downtown east-side ghetto. This 65 minute documentary follows one man's 30 day experiment of joining the thousands of homeless, ill, and addicted, who survive the streets of Vancouver's cold, wet December.

He starts off with nothing but a pair of underwear. Where he ends up is a place he never knew existed, even though its a place he passed by every day.

He has no money, no friends, no family, and most importantly, no home. He must navigate the institutions, policies and services alongside the thousands of people that call Vancouver's streets home.

This is the perfect film for anyone who wants to see first hand what life is like on Vancouver's streets, but doesn't want to risk murder from gang violence, contracting a fatal or chronic disease, or a life-long addiction to crack or heroin. Official Selection 2009 Queens International Film Festival and Official Selection 2010 Oxford FIlm Festival.

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C Alexander
1 year ago

The guy was a tool, but I'm still glad to have seen the DTES in a realer way than the news I've been fed my whole life as a native Vancouverite. Very interesting characters, shows how that lifestyle breaks the spirit of those already weak from a life of disappointments, tragedy. When you don't have clean clothes, a shower, are unrested, without home- meaning no bank, no credit, near impossible to save money and find proper housing in a city already inflated. Is it possible to find a job in these conditions for even the most willed of citizens, let alone those so unfortunate to end up in this place? The problem is so multifaceted, there is no 'fixing the DTES' without making change to society as we know it. They are the worst case scenario in a man-made game, not less deserving of a comfortable, fulfilling life.

3 years ago

I didn’t care for him as a person but I became very afraid for him when his arrogance duped him into flippantly engaging a monster far far greater than he has ever experienced. Unbelievable.

Heather England
3 years ago

I finished watching this movie an hour ago and I have been shaking with rage ever since. This is not a documentary. This is a man with too much money and not enough brains, stroking his ego well he tries to look like the good guy by making light of a serious social issue.

But I suppose you could feel sympathetic for the guy when he was so sad about falling his self-indulgent experiment and goes back to his million-dollar Vancouver condo to come down off of the heroin he voluntarily took because he was trying to "fit in." Watching him vomit and sh*t himself was the only satisfying part of the whole movie.

steven wallace
3 years ago

Misha Kleider is the Tommy Wiseau of documentaries. It is actually serves as an excellent example of bad documentary making.

steven wallace
3 years ago

This should be a study piece on how NOT to make a documentary.

The subject was supposed to the homelessness issue in Vancouver but instead turned into some FRAT Party piece. The video itself reminded me of when someone first got a video camera and tried to make something profound by using the fade function. The lack of ability to listen and actually engage with those people suffering with addiction was possibly the most upsetting part of it. It reminded me of some college jocks giving rides to homeless people and then filming them but talking over them constantly. Seriously this documentary is so bad I am amazed Amazon show it.

Helen Sheridan
3 years ago

No pity, I know first hand have a son that is an addict and 30. I can not save him and he refuses to save himself. So there, unless you live it you have no right to comment.

3 years ago

It seems that most of commenters here haven't seen the movie all the way through or the maybe they are Vancouver locals with political agendas. It was a good documentary.

4 years ago

This guy is so out of touch. What an idiot.. homeless people scamming the system. Maybe he should have developed a crack addiction. He's lucky he does not suffer from an illness.

4 years ago

Someone's gunna kick the everliving sh*t outta you buddy been there got out. Where all just passing through.

4 years ago

Completely offensive. Privilege at its finest, presenting what it means to be homeless from its own point of view. Misha Kleider is a disgusting, disrespectful POS.

Dave Loewen
5 years ago

I watched the wholed damn thing as a part of a class project. Misha had a horrible attitude towards homeless people from the outset, and although his attitude changed slightly as the film progressed, this was not a true depiction of homelessness.
He mad a poor choice in trying crack and heroin, then actually thought that since he tried drugs, he now understood homelessness.
Wrong! He tried each of them once, never got addicted to anything, then quit the "project" five days early. What a joke. The actual homeless people, whom he holds in such low regard, don't have the option. They can't just up and say "I've had enough; take me home to daddy's mansion."

5 years ago

I have to agree with the following two comments;
The host is a fruity, smirking twit out having a joke at the expense of the homeless and the taxpayer. If he should really become homeless, he wouldn't last long. Thumbs down.
Sad excuse for a video that had the potential to be informative and engaging.
This is honestly the worst "documentary" I have ever seen.

5 years ago

I personally thought this documentary was really really good. It was creative and metaphorical in the fact in the beginning he represents us....people who have shelter, food, jobs we take for granted and not really seeing the homeless. As his experiences evolve from kinda easy going homelessness to the hard core reality of the homeless he can totally relate to the hardship and suffering. He learns ADDICTION is a parasite to its host taking people down so low they exist in a sub culture where they are sadly dependent physically to their drug. Addiction is a disease and until we treat it as such NO shelter or food kitchens can stop it. They need a St. Jude 's for addiction to help eradicate it just like St. Jude has done with many childhood cancers. These poor people need serious help. Thank you for this very well done documentary.

5 years ago

He wouldn't have gotten much in Texas especially being an adult male.
There is no wealth fare for adult men in Texas; period.

5 years ago

I thought he was an ass at first, but as the doco went on, you could see the change. Anyone willing to go 30 days on the cold streets, and try 2 heavy drugs for the first time,...for a doco, has got some balls...well done overall. PS....Lived practically all my life in Australia, but was born in Vancouver, i wanted to see what the underbelly was like over there. Hang with similar ppl here in Australia. .....same all over........i myself have been addicted to weed and alcohol since i was 18......iam now i have some understanding of the situation. to everyone....PEACE✌

6 years ago

The worst PLASTIC FRUIT SALAD I've ever made myself watch.

6 years ago

I cannot believe the critics of this documentary . At least this guy Brough some of you arm chair commentators into a world they see but don't know . Well done for putting yourself through this

7 years ago

why did everyone hate on this guy?

it was one of the most profound documantaries i ever saw on homeless - i studied law in college and i have a lot of work done on human rights and the extent to which these rights can be applied - and this documentary was amazing

yes he was funny in the beginning because he was showing the real life live experience - initially he was healthy and positive but if you didnt have ADHD you would have watched right down to the end of the documntary when he went on crack and heroin to show the sincerity of this documentary - amazing doc well done

7 years ago

What a narcissistic, arrogant, PoS. Rich kid making a joke out of homelessness. Was this his immature freshman sociology project in his expensive private university?

Having once been strung out on heroin (only did it once.... And ended up chasing that first hit for years, like this rich kid likely will)... And homeless myself. I know what it's like, a 30 day self-aggrandizing fool making a "documentary" doesn't know s*it.

Total a*"hole misrepresenting and exploiting people who've fallen through the cracks and the systems to catch them. Just for his own 15 minutes of fame. Obviously no compassion and just showing off for friends. He's only hurt the homeless.

I'm a licensed working professional who helps the homeless on a daily basis. Making six figures, starting a family. And trying to help those who TRULY NEED HELP. Not jerks like this exploitative jerk.

7 years ago

This is brilliant!

I am from Vancouver and ended up living on East Hastings Street for months when I was 17. I was an amateur boxer at the Astoria Boxing Gym and worked at Labor Ready. I lived among the addicts, homeless, and prostitutes. One thing that I would have liked to have seen this documentary touch on more is the human kindness that can be experience among the most down and out people on the downtown east side. When I was a kid living in that area, no one tried to sell me drugs and I would get stopped regularly by the most disgusting looking addicts and lectured about how I should "not be down here" and about why I was not in school. Even through the cloud of addiction and homelessness, basic human kindness and decency still shines through.

Very nice film!

8 years ago

This was so offensive and ignorant. He jumps into a dumpster to "get dirty" What an idiot, that blood on his finger may as well of been from a dirty needle, maybe he will contract HIV and his next documentary can be about that. It's easy to get on welfare? are you kidding me?! Yeah you faked a mental health condition but did you know that a large percentage of homeless people in Canada actually do suffer from mental illness, and it can be completely horrible, long, drawn out process for someone who is ill. Have you ever sat down with someone who has a mental illness or is drug dependent and assisted them with this form? for most people, it is not a fun "easy" process. I couldn't even get past 10 minutes of this junk I was so offended. He makes a complete joke of the homeless problem not only Vancouver but all of Canada is struggling with. Does he understand that addiction often stems from trauma? I would love to see what kind of trauma this privileged white male has experienced in his life time. Making a joke of these issue's only perpetuates the cycle of stigma and discrimination, which in turn keeps public policy focused on criminalization and ignorance instead of on harm reduction, education, and proper resources. I can say all the things I want to about how negatively I feel about this guy and his documentary but that will not do anything. There is a bigger problem at hand and a lot of people are dying from overdose, HIV, Hep c, and so on. We need to come together as communities and do what we can to see these "addicts" and "homeless" not as problems too big to handle or that we need to hide or move out of our cities but as people who have suffered real trauma in their lives, an now more then ever, need support. Harm reduction is where its at, I encourage everyone to learn more, and get involved. Volunteer, meet some of these people and realize they are daughters, brothers, sisters, moms, and dads too, and they deserve the right social services without judgement that we give to people suffering from schizophrenia, depression, cancer, or alzheimer's . Or even just say hi to that homeless guy you pass everyday, he just like you has a story and you'll be amazed at how much you have in common. VANDU, the NAOMI project, there is lots of cool **** happening out there with people who actually care, are passionate and innovative and there is positivity on the horizon. The war on drugs is out, we need change.

8 years ago

This is the most ridiculous piece of ****. The subject matter is treated as a complete joke and there is a total lack of seriousness towards the subject matter by everyone involved in the making of this "documentary" - it's insulting. Misha Kleider barely even gets involved in the actual lifestyle - sleeps in a shelter the majority of the experiment, gets free clothing free meals free transportation and is never in any real life-threatening danger at any point (even when he's sleeping alone on the street, his persons and his unattended backpack are undisturbed/unharmed) - he makes light and makes jokes about drug addiction and homelessness, and then runs home to his nice downtown apartment after his ridiculous idea to supposedly try hard drugs backfires. The immature ***holes that made this piece of absolute **** should be incredibly ashamed.

Phoebe Douglas
8 years ago

what the **** is this! He completely missed the point. Often shelters like the one he stayed in are full as they have a lack of funding and beds, also the clothes he chose aren't warm or hard-wearing so of course he looked smart. He had no sympathy, hated this.

karen smith
8 years ago

Very god but what are you doing now that you know what are you doing to better it or to help the homeless or did you go back to your nice home And just forget what you saw and what you now know?

Francis Mary
9 years ago

This is the equivalent of rolling around the streets in a wheelchair with fully functioning legs.

Corie Browning
9 years ago

Loved it! It's very unique for a journalist to dive in and fully taste the issues. He tasted it, all the way down to doing the drugs. He was honest in his approach, if he felt arrogant, he displayed it. He didn't put on a suit and tie and try to appear professional, he joined them. Best documentary I've seen in a long time. Good Job! Period!!

10 years ago

I`v gone through this piece of c*ap your trying to call a documentary, I hope you got addicted to the wack of H you did. I just can`t believe that anyone or any network for that matter would air this .It just goes to show how i*iotic and desperate networks are chomping at the c*ck cheese reality that some i*iots think they can assume.

To the film maker ... you lick balls a*shole.

11 years ago

i like the way he presents his film. "I began by jumping into the river and starting out freezing and cold and wet."

11 years ago

so much for an amazing city to live in. and Vancouverites are the same people who hate Toronto for whatever reason (not that toronto doesnt have a similar problem, just not as notorious)

as for the documentary, i didnt find it that bad. im pretty sure theres other films on what to do and so forth, but his aim was his own journey and to change his view.

everyone calling him self-centered, are you the same people trying to do something yourself? first step is awareness and change of attitude!

11 years ago

Self-imposed slavery?!!

First of all, stripping away your material possessions and jumping naked into the water does not make you a homeless person....because by the time a homeless person ends up in the street, his only possessions will be a bunch of shattered dreams, a broken spirit and no cant experiment that...its not about the money, its about dropping out of the cracks in the system....failing yourself and everyone around might not even be his fault...but that is what he will feel...

The purpose of the documentary was not to help the homeless, it was to help the self-centered producer look good....

Finally, the drug stunt was the most stupidest thing I have ever seen.....taking the documentary as an excuse to try these hard core drugs..."I had to do it" he says....what a hero! sacrificing himself for the good of I said, its all about him...

If you want to help the homeless, try to find solutions that will get them out of the destructive loop that they are in....don't follow them through it...

Mourning Coup
11 years ago

Ummm I live in Vancouver and volunteer often on the downtown Eastside where this man does his experiment. In fact many of my family members were on those streets because of addiction. This whole documentary is complete and utter bullsh*t and in fact has done more harm to this community than help.
The fact that this man begins the documentary talking about his friendship with a police (anyone who spends any time in the dtes, knows about the level of corruption of the VPD and how much abuse the residents of the area face from the police force), lessens the documentaries credibility entirely.
The people that live in this neighbourhood are not all homeless. Many of them have homes, but are extremely under housed. Why? Look at the cost of living in this god forsaken city.
Also many of these people suffer from mental illness. Over ten years ago the city closed half of the Riverview mental hospital and this population exploded. There are no accessible mental health resources. Welfare is 542$ a month where rent averages at 700 a month.
When you take into account that people with mental illness often self medicate with drugs its no wonder we have this circumstance.
How does the city deal with the situation? Shutting down the only affordable housing this population has and builds more expensive condos in our dwindling economy.
This man is an id**t and was probably sponsored by the city to make this piece of sh*t propaganda.

11 years ago

The first 20 minutes or so of this film i thought that misha was a pompous a**hole who was treating the project as a complete joke. He just seemed like a spoiled kid who knew nothing about anything outside of the comforts of his life. BUT once he really put 100% of himself in it with no comforts of the shelters, free food, clothes, & beds, you could see a change in him almost immediately. Also, i could not belive he tried Crack and Heroin just for the better of the film! no self incriminating here, but I know alot of addicts of opiates and other "hard drugs" who became addicted after doing it once or twice, and that was really stupid of him to shoot heroin having never even snorted or smoked it first. & yeah while still dumb, it was eXtremely baLLsy and Shocking. He did an amazing job at opening our eyes to the world of the streets & homelessness/addiction once he finally took it seriously. this is a great doc, just get past the beginning, wait for him to shed his comforts & dive into the raw life of the streets. (yes it could have been better & more in-depth - but if you think about it, 30 days on the streets being homeless living in such harsh conditions with the bitter cold, rats, disease and addiction all around you... i could never do it) another 30 days he would have been a full blown addict and sold his video camera for a rock of crack.

11 years ago

As an addict I have to comment on how foolish it was to try crack and heroin. His whole point was to feel like an addict on the streets. In a nut-shell, trying drugs for the first time and being an addict are worlds apart. What a dumb a**...he needs to do drugs everyday for years to understand and depict what it's like to be an addict on the streets. Trying to simplify such a serious problem! Stupidest thing I've ever seen and now the a**holes gonna drive around on the streets in his Benz and say to himself, "I've been there". What an idiot, if he was here I'd kick his a** then diarrhea in his face!

11 years ago

He makes fun of a very serious societal issue. His life is not over. He's in for a very, very hard life lesson that he never anticipated.

11 years ago

as someone who has beaten a thirty five year addiction to alcohol and pot , i watched with an open mind and objective perspective; my conclusion is that the film maker is a foolish idiot for having tried crack and heroin as part of his experiment . he seemed to be intelligent and well informed , yet he willing consumed two of the most addictive drugs known today with reckless abandon . all he illustrated was that anyone stupid enough to attempt becoming hooked , or worse , overdosed due to no prior experience with intraveinous drug use can do so in vancouver . he failed , in my opinion to truly show the reasoning behind homelessness , and almost glorified the experience of having to live on the street. good luck to anyone fighting addiction and be strong in your recovery . peace.

11 years ago

I didn't think I was going to be surprised, but Wow!...Tnx for this doc. I can't believe the guy had the courage to go on this kind of "adventure" and thought he was going to quit when he first felt stomach sick...but when he went on to trying the drugs and risking the effects of them, I just felt for him and admire him for going all the way through, attempting to understand the homeless..(from my perspective)the guy's determination to do this experiment just reminds me of God and how he came as Jesus to understand us in living flesh...its a reminder of what life REAL is like for the homeless and that it really has no end!

11 years ago

I personally know Misha Kleider, the "filmmaker" and he is one of the most stuck up, arrogrant, self-centered hypocrites I've ever met, and I've met many. He tries to "tackle" the issue of homelessness but the poor excuse of a film ends up being about him. Save your time, skip this s***.

11 years ago

I'm from Houston and I see homeless people everyday of my life. There's a block downtown that has at least 30 people camped out all the time. After the recession settled in, there was a definite increase in the number of faces on the streets. I'm not saying it's worse here than other places - just admitting the problem. I think counseling would help a great deal. Homelessness is a symptom of greater problems. There's a reason people end up on the streets - family, finance, etc. I would say addiction is a symptom of deeper problems too, unfortunately its also a proponent of more problems. I think if you can help people deal with what they're trying to run away from, you can start the healing process.

11 years ago

Wow what a rollercoaster film. The beginning or first 20 minutes was crap but during the end I could not believe Misha actually smoked crack and shot up heroin... I was cringing and just asking myself, "How in the world can you do that?" Towards the end you can see how much of an impact it had on him. Very interesting film.

12 years ago

There is a place of sorrow that only Jesus can touch. People are addicted because they are suffering within. Unfortunately the Saviour does not come in the form of a pipe or needle, nor liquid or rock. I only wish that at some point someone will tell them how much the Lord loves them and is waiting to rescue thier broken hearts. A few words spoken in kindness can touch someone's life forever

fasffeaf geamna
12 years ago

this guy is f***ing crazy!! hahahahaa this should be under comedy section!! Loved it I need to meet this dude!

12 years ago

Was definitely interesting, but only a fool would assume that this is how homelessness must then be. A 1 month immersion into the culture of the homeless isn't enough to be considered a field study, and a lot of the content seemed to cater towards entertainment to appease viewers in the controversial matter; then again that's largely what a documentary is lmao. I have to write a review on one or I wouldn't be here; give me a detailed ethnography and an ethnologists study on it and I might take that a bit more seriously :)

12 years ago

Yep. He will do it again. That's the rule. No one does it once given enough time.

12 years ago

that heroin changed him. he lost his innocence. i agree he is a duesche bag, but he had guts to put heroin into his body. guts dont make him cool. ten bucks says he tries it again.

12 years ago

terrible doc!
he seemed to think that by being a well to do collage student he could analyse there lifes through partial obsercation! he was too caught up in himself to really observe.
the typical western attitude to our societys problems of i know whats bst for them. looked for quik easy answers too satisfy his ego. if he wud listen to homeless people he cud maybe see there is much more than addiction. homeless people arnt like he implies weak willed people! They often have rejected our shallow consume and slave too consume society and are then rejected by the likes of this guy as weak willed.

12 years ago

What das said and I'll expand.

Accept my apologies as I didn't read all the comments, but from the 15mins that I saw, street life has nothing to do with this, street life is hard, very hard indeed and some brat taking bubble baths and claiming to be mentally ill to claim walfare, in all honesty is an absolute joke.
Don't disrespect the homeless - they are homeless for a reason

12 years ago

This was a good doc. To the people who are calling it crap, Have you ever been homeless? Have you ever had to wonder where you were going to sleep at night? Felt the hunger pains of not eating anything for 4-5 days? Well for those of us that have been there, it does take courage to give up your comfortable way of life. I was homeless for only one year and I never want to go through that again. People become homeless for many different reasons and only a very few by choice. Starting at the addiction is the right move. When you have nowhere to go, getting high and escaping the current situation is far too tempting. So, until you have experienced this you have no grounds to criticize this doc or the doc creator.

12 years ago

This doc is a job well done. 'Practising' the street, though, is unnecessary and unethical. You do not need to live it to understand it, at least generally. To make yourself homeless to do research is to practise a lie. But I appreciated the outcome of this project.

It would be better for the drug-users if they were rounded up and locked down for a period of time. Then they could be let out,and if found using again, locked back down for their own good and for the safety of righteous-living people.

12 years ago

Boy, was this some hot canine feces!!!

12 years ago

I am so upset that I wasted my time watching that and feel compelled to waste even more time commenting on what I just saw. This is by far the worst documentary I have ever seen on homelessness. It was insulting and poorly thought out. I found the guys commentary to be lacking in insight.

oh god. i dont want to go on- at this point i'm trying hard to think about what was done right.