Streets of Plenty

Streets of Plenty

2010, Society  -   241 Comments
Ratings: 6.02/10 from 185 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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241 Comments / User Reviews

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. At least he tried to understand. No, he did not come from a drug addicted background of poverty but there was an attempt to understand first hand of the experience. Not many well off folks may want to get into that.

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

  5. 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.

    1. Wow you're really ignorant! This man may be from a privelaged backround but at least he had the balls to give it a try! He highlights the issue well in my opinion. AND YES. I HAVE BEEN HOMELESS AND ADDICTED TO HARD DRUGS AND ALCOHOL!! The reason most homeless people are homeless is ADDICTION. He spent 26 nights on the streets and in the shelters of Vancouver in the winter. He begged, worked and did drugs. Why dont you make a film and see how it goes?

    2. Did we watch the same movie? What are YOU doing to bring light to this situation? I commend him for trying.

    3. Agree with you 100% and the other 2 who replied to you in indignation are oblivious. I have been a heroin/cocaine addict for 35 years, in recovery for the last 9 of those so I have some experience with these issues. This man was NEVER really experiencing any of these issues even close to the level of myself or the people he was filming. The fact that he could, and eventually would, be going back to his million dollar condo and life of privilege negates and makes artificial any feelings of misery, degradation and hopelessness he may have attempted to reveal to the viewers.

    4. Also, this man was making fun of these poor souls! He said to the homeless guy at the shelter when he was jumping into the top bunk, "quality treatment, I'm never going HOME". He flippantly and laughingly says that to a person with no home to speak of. This guy is quite ahole.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


    2. Sitting here saying drugs are the only problem. He probably has woken up now and doesn't think that way. It's poor decisions when you make 1 wrong decision it hurts every single person. Sometimes its also fate.

    3. It seems that you have lost the ability to recognise the fact that opinions are subjective.
      By saying that people who do not like it could not have watched it all it absolutely childish.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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."

  12. 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.

    1. Na it was a gross act. Why subjecate you're self to such living conditions it hurts society. He could have been working. He took people clothes and beds & much more. Hope. We need hero's they are very hard to come by however.

  13. 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.

    1. They don't want help, they want it their way. Talk to my son. Best thing is he never comes back, he steals from us, passed on hep C. To hell with him


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

  15. 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✌

    1. Why would you want this documentary are you nuts it was a terrible documentary. He got people sick he took clothes he took beds he took food he took free rides on shuttles. He skipped school he risked his life.

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

  17. 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

    1. How was this documentary good he used public transport for free when he could have payed. He took free meals he could've payed for. He stole clothing and free beds. Skipped school, probably made his friends and family sick. Didn't realize he almost went into a deathmatch.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

    1. Yes what he did was wrong but we can only move forward. There is no redemption true heroes are born realizing that.

    2. when you really dig into this joke of a doc it becomes clear his purpose was to hurt the homeless by bringing up contempt against them, showing off his bod, acting like a dork, ect was just part of the fun.

    3. and btw, one of the directors was a sociology student, and misha later got a ba in philosophy..
      Im not buying their dumb act...

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

    1. Although I agree with your message for the most part, you should have watched the whole thing. I had to watch it in class in studying qualitative research and everyone agreed, this guy is extremely privileged and we were pretty pissed at this dude. However, he does capture elements of dtes and the social issues surrounding it. You also see him change his perception of homelessness and confronts Mayor Gregor Robertson. Overall, a very privileged piece, but interesting and you see someone open their eyes about some serious issues. He probably shouldn't have made the thing at all, but people are paying attention.

    2. Ive ****** up big time in life to. but ya we should not idolize any of this behavior.

    3. I think the dumpster jump was just as fake as getting full DB welfare in one day [which is impossible] - I bet he checked for needles and brought his own spaghetti

  22. 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.

    1. I agree this were not a real documentary,

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

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

  26. 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!!

    1. No,it were not ,

  27. 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.

    1. must agree to a point that the film maker needs to grow up. Perhaps Misha needs to join the Army and see some war. Something he cant back out of. that might help him discover hard reality. This documentary is more geared at making the film maker look good. he trys to salvage this selfish image near end but fails. DONT WATCH.

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

    1. that was funny... but about only part worth it.

  29. 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!

  30. 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...

    1. I am so glad to hear a sober voice here, this "documentary" is a joke and the guy in it is an a*shole (sorry for the poor choice of words). For the Grace of God There Go I...

    2. If he really wanted to make a documentary on homelessness. He should've tried to stay homeless his whole life and then give us a piece of that footage... Ill tell you what you don't want to know what happens between the homeless they've seen **** we couldn't even imagine.

    3. I thought about what I just said and I was wrong their is no need to have this here it just glamorizes homelessness. We don't want that. We want society. We all want to be clean physically have no dirt or grime on us. We want to have food that we've prepared for ourselves. We want shelter, that we can call our own. We want a job that genuine helps people not just bagging groceries because in most situations that actually just makes our lives a lot dirtier. A guy that sits their for hours not washing his hands touching food product that has had how many hands on it then he touches more and more and more and more.

  31. 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.

    1. quite informed. thank you for the information. Another intelligent person with facts. refreshing. the doc was a waste all in all

    2. I find it interesting how many people have "mental illnesses" in this country - $542 a month? Try nothing - what you get in South Africa - This is not propaganda - this highlights how enabled people are in Canada

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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***.

    1. to be honest i wanted to love this film...the idea of it is everything i love in a documentary. but i got the exact feeling about him that you described. i mean, he claimed to want to be like them & not get why he wasn't fitting in while trying to beg money off people wearing a dress shirt, argyle sweater & a perfectly tousled $200 haircut. wtf? but it was the fact that he stole a blanket from an actual homeless person in december & the complete arrogance of taking crazy addictive drugs with the attitude that he was above the lure of it that really disgusted me.
      i truly get the feeling that this was more about a bored rich kid doing something crazy on a dare for bragging rights than a guy that really got in there and did something because of concern for the people of the DTES.

    2. I agree, and couldn't state just a well worded response

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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

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

  42. 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 :)

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

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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.

    1. I kind of have to agree with you on the grounds that I think there was a point where he felt the bite of the street. I think it probably scared him too. The 'street' is an entity in itself to which any one can fall. I also was homeless.

    2. I've been homeless and am a recovering addict.

      This documentary is s*it, exploitative, made by an arrogant prick.

    3. My husbahd was homeless for 10+ years and he was disgusted by hiw this guy was acting and how it wasn't as easy as he was making it seem to navigate those resources.

      He couldn't finish the doc.

      So glad we met, he got his ID and git a lot of help. Been together 14 years. :)

  48. 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.

  49. Boy, was this some hot canine feces!!!

  50. 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.

  51. I came across this documentary after one of my friends posted it on facebook. I have lived/worked/sold drugs on the DTES 15 yrs ago you have no clue what it is like to be on these streets unless you have worked/lived/or sold drugs/did drugs. Hats off to you Misha for having the balls to at least try and change your mind about the lost souls of DTES. Lots of my friends now are staff members of Insite/portland housing society. At first when I seen the staff member helping you with injecting I was like WTF!! How can they just let a first time user do that! Then I took a deep breath and remembered that was there job.

    So all you haters out there that don't know what it is like to walk the streets of the DTES leave the saftey of your house and don't hide behind your computer screen go take a walk and get to know some amazing people. And for all of that have lived the DTES cute Misha some slack he has gone and lived in your shoes and at least he is getting some public awareness out there with this documentary.

    1. By making a joke of it? Exploiting the homeless resources?

      Loved when he said "I'm just doing to try the heroin, it's not like I'm going to come down here next week without you and get some!" Guess what. That's what every addict said once. Nobody says "I want to sell my possessions, lose all trust and people I care for, sell my body, just so I can avoid going into withdrawals."

      It's sad, but I almost hope he descends into a pit of addiction and can then make a real documentary.

      Yes, heroin, is a cure all. Too good. Of course he felt good. It's like warm golden honey flowing through your veins and all problems go away. Doesn't make you incoherent. Until you get a monkey on your back that eventually becomes a 1000 pound silverback.

  52. Absolutely terrible.

  53. Top film!

  54. At first I thought this doc was gone be shite. Then I watched it, and it was TOTAL F@#$%^ SHITE.

  55. Again , thank you Vlatko for making this available.
    I appreciated the brothers (and others involved) who made the film , which I found amazing .
    The process the fellow went through in the experience was pure , in the sense that it brought me on the journey which unfolded realistically and uncontrivedly , allowing an inside picture of this reality to be viewed by those of us who won't have the "opportunity" to discover this lifestyle for ourselves....
    I commend the makers of this documentary , and the risks they were willing to take. Not many privileged people ,in our world , are so willing to make a leap into danger and discomfort to expose the difficulties and suffering that are other peoples lives. Thank you so much ---- makers of this film.

  56. in my country we are adicted to the food. Put the homeless on yours grain and corn fields to work for they food and heroine ratio, in this way you solve and a part of the oil problem.

  57. I think the people who didn't like this doc didn't like it because it didn't tell you what to think (like a lot of docs out there). It didn't force an opinion on you, but forced you to think. Or if you thought it was crap, you didn't watch the whole thing.

    The doc showed real life. It showed experts opinions, and both sides of the picture (which is rare). It showed facts and statistics. It didn't force give you a nice clean tidy answer. You have to think for yourself you lazy people.

    I've been to these places in the video, I've tried to help, I've also had struggles in my head about love vs. handouts. Like the guy, I haven't figured out the answer either. But he is on the right track, he treated these people as real people.

  58. By the way ... if you are struggling to understand the plight of someone close to you suffering from addiction - something that can be incredibly difficult, and may have brought you to this docu - consider reading In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. The author was featured in this docu and for good reasons.

  59. I think the problem is ... you need to seperate praise for the docu and praise for the creator. The creator possibly didnt realize what he was getting into ... which in my opinion makes him a great host almost incidentally. He shows us what it is like to charge in and attempt to discover what its like to be homeless in Van. Is he naive, reckless, etc ... oh hell yes he is. Do we learn from his foolishness ... well we certainly can tho the comments make it clear that some of us choose not to.

    I have lived in Victoria and Vancouver, and so perhaps I already knew something about this lifestyle. If you are from Ontario perhaps you have NO IDEA what some of streets are like out west.

    I would like so see someone less naive tackle documenting the lives of homeless in Toronto (less naive so he doesnt accidentally die in the middle of a winter night). These people sleep on vents and under 97 blankets just to live through to winter, which eventually they cant continue to do. Who are they, what do they deal with, why are they there ...

    A good documentary doesnt require a good host, necessarily. It can still show us something valuable.

  60. I'm surprised how many negative comments this documentary is getting. Calling the guy a "phony" is absurd, his point was never to permanently become homeless, but rather satisfy his own curiosity and temporarily seeing what the homeless life is like. He was unable to last the whole 30 day goal he set, and that only proves just how tough it is out there. He did a decent job in covering the programs out there that exist to help, as well as a lot of the problems out there keeping the homeless on the streets. Considering it was a free documentary, some of you need to lighten up and just take it for what it is.

  61. A "social experiment"? Really?? It's easy to take on the life of a homeless person knowing that you have the luxury of a home, an education, and resources waiting for you anytime you decide that you don't want to play the homeless game anymore. Let's chalk this "social experiment" up to the immature misgivings of a young man with a lot to learn!!

  62. There's no "seriousness" or harsh reality about this individual's experience.

    To repeat Princeton's insight for re-emphasis: "Addiction is not the first cause, but merely a symptom of other deeper psychological problems.
    You can give a man money and shelter, but until you deal with the deeper issues that caused him to become addicted in the first place, you can never fully rehabilitate him, nor can u expect any long term change."

    This guy is a phony and left on his own, without brother, crew, funding and rescue, would not last five minutes. No doubt he will massage his already enlarged ego, however, for the rest of his life about his "knowledge" of life on the street !

  63. Yes, the ending is quite contrived. Yes, the guy acts like a bit of a douche sometimes. However, 10 out of 10 for dedication to his study... I don't think many people would have had the balls to take meth amphetamine - far less shoot up - for the sake of a documentary; I know I wouldn't. Not to mention that the guy took time out of his comfortable, safe existence to go and live under these circumstances for almost a month.

    In addition, the guy is clearly not a practiced documentary maker. I personally think this lends a unique viewpoint on the subject, rather than the usual impersonal approach of the average documentary; this is the reaction of average Joe to first-hand experience of these circumstances. And it's interesting how his attitude changes from being a big laugh and adventure at the beginning of the documentary to a more down-to-earth apprecition of the circumstances. I would like to think that the slightly contrived ending is borne out of a genuine appreciation of the circumstances, developed through his experiences over the course of the documentary.

    This is definately worth a watch if you're interested in the subject. This is quite a unique viewpoint of what seems to be a very serious problem in American society and a growing issue in many other Westernised countries.

  64. To all the haters of this film,

    Go out there and make a better documentary.

    It takes a lot of balls to step out of your comfort zone to go into the most notorious place in North America and live amongst the forgotten people of society.

    I think he had a sincere change of heart from the time he started the film to the time it ended.
    I did too and that's why he make the film.

  65. Im from Victoria, and I see a smaller issue of this in my town that is along side with Vancouver. This documentry is nothing new but does give an insight that most "mishas" wouldnt see otherwise.

    Simply, we are a very liberal soceity on the west coast. We see someone in need, we have to set up a system in which we can help. Unfortunatly, this has had a negative affect in which homeless people have migrated to our warmer climate and good supportive programs and make their lives somewhat better.

    SO if the problem is addiction, simply, we need to be more aggressive and less caring with our approach. You want a welfare check? Pass a drug test. You think you should be on welfare for a mental issue? Well, then get checked into a ward and that money they would have gotten should go towards the true mentally ill. With less welfare fraud, the excess money should help support a home for the mentally ill.

    Take the money that is being funnelled towards programs to help them, and those that want help can get checked into environments in which there is no drugs, health issues, can get clean and go back into society or a role in society that is less self destructive. The bottle exchange was a perfect example of a man who says I like to pick up bottles and earn money honestly.

    My 2cents but I believe in tough love.

  66. Not sure what to make of this documentary. I admire Mishas attempts to highlight this situation and his integrity for carrying on for as long as he did. The extent of his fortitude in these conditions is admourable, I doubt that the extra 5 days would have made any difference to the overall conclusion.
    On the down side, the cameraman (his brother) might have impeded the actual personas, actions etc of the homeless interviewed. I can't say that I learnt much from this documentary (just that Vancouver has quite a large scale problem in this area), but reinforcing previous understanding.
    Overall, engaging and entertaining viewing.

  67. maybe it was mentioned in the comments already, but maybe, somehow he knew what would happen. up to the degree, that when he was presenting his idea about why there are homless I felt a self-irony in his explanation. till the end he showed it is worse then most people think. and I am aware it didnt show the worst of this world, there are plenty other docos for this

  68. @ Jamo

    It doesn't take courage to try crack or heroin. Maybe it takes some combination of carelessness, total lack of self respect, hatred, fear, sadness, etc. but it definitely does not take courage.

  69. I see here that many people are judging this documentary without first watching the entire thing! The first two parts may sorta seem like a joke, but this guy really puts himself through a lot in order to get a deeper glimpse of what it'd be like to live homeless. And I agree -- it's a lot more complex than it appears, but the damn addiction to these worthless, piece of c@#$ drugs is really what needs to be addressed here, and also perhaps the emotional vulnerability that may lead one to start doing drugs in the first place.

  70. I thought the guy was a jerk in the first half, but the doc redeemed itself by the end. I respected his courage to do crack and heroin to have a more realistic experience of what it is like to be out there. Interesting that after doing the drugs he was not able to continue. Excellent doc. As with many good docs, you are not sure what you learned, but you learned something nevertheless.

  71. GREAT JOB !!! TOUGH SUBJECT i found they got to the point of the problem. coming from the streets myself at the age 13yrs old drugs turned out to be my best source of surviving. though i consumed all the drugs at one time or another, i was lucky to not become addicted to anyone of them accept cigerates. Now 45yrs old i watch this documentory and remember what it took to live that life for 8+years, he is right by accident it does come down to spending time and resources on the drugs. lastly he did show a messure of bravery ( only through never being there before )his friend and camera man was right his decision was stupid and wrong,but it worked out to benifet lucky.

  72. @ endgame

    Agreed. Honestly I almost made it through to the end, but as soon as he started openly berating the newly elected mayor, I'd had enough. I can have respect for someone who is openly concerned with an issue, researches it productively, and then provides some sort of constructive response to the issue. Thats not what I saw here. This guys lack of sincerity throughout the whole thing was astounding for someone whose supposed to be bringing light to a serious social issue. And what was the finale of this overindulgent piece of s@#$? He shoots up his gear, gets high, AND GOES BACK HOME. What an authentic representation of the lives of homeless addicts. This guy should have (needs to) get his ass kicked a couple of times.

    @ DVH


    " There was no new information or issues brought to light in this film … BUT … I would love to know if our hero has done anything since he made this film to help the situation – even if that means volunteering in some of those institutions.

    If, and only if, he is would this film be worth anything! "

  73. i lived downtown vancouver for six years, so ive seen all of this first hand. this doc is c@#$, and the guy that just decides to do heroin for the sake of getting into character is ridiculous. way to finish strong looser.

  74. Hey people what about just humanity... take this documentary in context... guy in scholl acting goofy in the begining.... no kidding he thinks he knows it all and the world is in the palm of his hand.... see how at the end he's completly frustrated, irratable and has been shown big time that hes not the hot shot he thought he was and that the streets could take someone educated and who has a "future" as it were. Pretty F'ing scary to think that so quickly a person becomes nameless, ill and barely living any kinda of life worth living. This was an amazing documentry, brought fear into my heart and tears and sorrow into my soul. My thought;;;; what ARE we going to do about the addiction???

  75. this doc was a good one,,, those of you that dont think too much of it are the wise asses,, go do what he did,,throw yourselves in a garbage can ,, swim in your underware in the cold ,, sleep on the streats and at shelters ,, go hang with addics and bums and do hard drugs,,,,,this doc was good couse i dont have the balls to do non of that,,,

  76. No wonder this was free.

    I lasted 10 mins before shutting it off.

  77. The reasons why I watched the documentary in the first place are:

    Because I volunteer at a homelessness shelter in England and worked for a drugs think tank that had substantiated evidence for moving drug USE from being a crime to being a health issue (from the Home Office to the Department of Health).

    Also I was holidaying in Vancouver in June and kept on being told by locals that there is no class system in Canada, and that Vancouver was very equal and prosperous all the solutions had worked etc... So I was surprised when I turned a corner and came across the homeless ghetto. I'd never seen anything like it so I thought this documentary might shed some light on the situation. I'm not sure it did.

  78. At the start he asks why don't homeless people just get a job, and say's, based on his uneducated belief, it's because they have too good a lifestyle.

    At the end he suggests that the issue is far more complicated. It's a shame he then concludes that the main issue is addiction.

    I believe he could have then gone further and given some time to asking the more important questions like:

    Why do people become homeless - what were their lives like before?

    Why do they do drugs - what are they getting away from?

    What are the other ties that keep people from getting out of that area?

    What was the situation like before this form of social support was introduced?


  79. Wow.

    His project is voyeurism pure and simple. It's like those expensive neo-colonial tours that send you to africa to help build a school and then you get to come back home to your privileged life and be the expert on all things Africa at your next cocktail party.

    His analysis is also painfully simple. No analysis of gender, racism, colonialism.

    Shockingly bad actually.

  80. I lived in Van for 15 years and I know what it's like and this is a good documentary, you have to watch it all the way to the end.

  81. Very well-made and inspiring doc,loved it...and wish there were a solution.

  82. Elitist a@@#$%&. I would love to break a bottle over his head.

  83. I love the comments from the people who are proponents of this "documentary" when they say, "you have to watch it 'till the end". That's because we spend the first two thirds of the film watching some preppy, rich kid mock homelessness and parade around like he's on vacation.

    Once he actually hits the streets and the going gets tough, he goes home to the comforts of his condo.

    All that c@#$ in the first part of the documentary is necessary because if he editing it and left in only the "good parts" it would be a 10 minute documentary about a guy who tries heroin and goes home.

    There was no new information or issues brought to light in this film ... BUT ... I would love to know if our hero has done anything since he made this film to help the situation - even if that means volunteering in some of those institutions.

    If, and only if, he is would this film be worth anything!

  84. Jumping in a trash-can and rubbing his face with macaroni--- that is soooo fake! he's dumb. What a f@#$?!

  85. In part 7 of the doc his brother asks him if he has changed his opinion towards homeless people and he responds with something along the lines 'yes its more complicated than I thought'.

    I find the most amazing part of the documentary to be that it took him 25 days of mock homelessness and drug addiction to come to that realization.

  86. Thought I'd mention it one more time since people are still watching and commenting on this film. Carts of Darkness is a much better doc about some homeless guys in B.C.that race shopping carts down the steep mountain roads on the outskirts of Vancouver. The director is a former snowboarding film director who is now a paraplegic.

  87. I enjoyed this doc... its an eye opener for people who don't know whats happening on the streets of Vancouver...Oh ya, you really do have to watch it right to the end...

  88. Knowing the streets of East, west north south Vancouver, this documentary crew approached it like naive high school stars. This film did not really accomplish awareness or a solution just a reminder that just around the corner, there's always something darker that most do not understand, even when they immerse themselves for the 15 days or so.

    Walking a path with safety gear on and tethers, does not make you experienced. It is just observation with blinders on. Ok, we could make a million metaphors. Basically this movie seems like a big joke, on the main character. Douchebag, or whatever his name is. The brother filming has gotten the short end of the stick. At one point in the film, while on drugs near the end, he calls his cameraman brother a r@#$%^. This is direct and basic to the structure of their relationship. I'm sure he had much fun convincing him to jump off a boat in his undies or roll around in the mud with the armanies on. Who the f@#$ would do that on the street? Too many movies I tell ya.

    And again, just high school pranks. Who was this guy emulating? Bowie in the 'man who fell to earth' If so, he lost that plot too. I give this movie a 3 out of 10, as there are some interesting shots and a good interview with one of the crusaders of the downtown scene. Too bad they also used some very American cinematic cliche shots. While the core looks dark and gloomy at times, nowhere near as gray-blue and that s@#$$% CSI technique with the processing in the greens. Too bad they did that c@#$, especially on the people they were interviewing, like they were the forebringers of doom. OUT OF CONTEXT. Hope this helps. Watch it, it's better than a lot of TV, but no where near a good documentary.

  89. Twit is the right word for him. His simplification and mockery of complex issues was embarrassing.

  90. interesting documentary. above all highlights the massive differences between lucky privilege and poverty rather than being informative about the homeless experience. still done really well and worth a watch, thanks vlatko!!!

  91. It is obvious that 90% of the people here were turned off by the guy's smug and douchey attitude at the beginning and immediately put comments, but after a while, he realizes what he (and many of us) think about the homeless was wrong. It is a good doc because it starts off with one point of view and ends with another.

    And it was entertaining...great work.

  92. I thought it was well done. Yah he seemed like a brat getting a free ride at firstIt can be percieved as a free ride, but its not, and that is realized later on. Also, these people have been through alot more even prior to being forced unto the streets, broken homes, job loss. At the end of it all his point was valid. There are so many reasons why people become addicts, we should be tackling those issues if we expect to see a decrease in homelessness. These were obviously not very happy people before they hit rock bottom.....

  93. I'm a bit surprised to see how hard on this guy (and doc) many here are. Yeah, he starts out with these pre-conceived notions about the homeless (that they're getting a free ride, etc.), but the doc takes you on his journey, a journey which ends with him developing empathy for the homeless. By the end, he totally changes his tune. Everyone is criticizing him for the fact that he had the ability to simply go home at the end of the day, but he stuck it out for far longer than many here probably could have.

    I've spent lots of time in Vancouver, and East Vancouver is a very dangerous and depressing place. I've always been on the fence as to the criminalization of certain drugs. I live in a neighborhood where crack is ubiquitous, and I just don't see how or why legalization of certain drugs, crack in particular, could make the world a better place. Come on, crack leads to incredibly unpredictable, psychotic behavior. Who in god's name would be willing to manage a legal safehouse where crack addicts were free to smoke it all day, everyday?

    Part of the problem with East Vancouver is the city's liberal approach to drug use. Perhaps it's gone about it the wrong way. I don't know, I don't have the answers. What I do know is that the scene in which the city worker is "coaching" him as to the proper way to shoot up, as a first-time user, is just so profoundly disturbing and bizarre. I wouldn't expect her to actively discourage him, but to actively encourage him seemed so wrong, on so many levels.

    Anyhow, as others have said, it's crucial for people to watch this doc until the very end.

  94. @Karen

    Well, that is certainly not always true. Life, as we experience it, can be mercilessly random.

    You never know, for example, if the day you wake up will be your last day on this planet.

    And, you never know, if your government, (or the police, or some guy smoking crack next door, etc.) will suddenly decide to destroy you...

    *shrug* It is not ALWAYS a matter of choice.

    I'm just sayin'

  95. Apart from the mentally desturbed. It all boils down to choice. Just like the black lady exemplified.

  96. Howdy, @BBC:

    Yes, wish that I could dress so well, Oh-well, more rich people that live in Van. that give their clothes away.

  97. Hey Achem,

    How you doing its been a while since i have had internet. I find it interesting how the homeless could live well if they chose too. Better clothes then i have.

  98. This was a choice at Oxford and Queen's Film festivals?? What a load of BS. A subject that cannot be looked at objectively, who is he to question and judge these people? If he lived like them for 5 years maybe, but he has a previous life and a future. He is so mistaken. He is so incorrect. Also, vancouver fails as a city. A look at this documentary shows how stupid we are. This guy who has never tried drugs can get his first dose at an insite clinic without question. What? Are we paying money for people to get addicted now? This film fails is every single aspect. Learn from this.

  99. this guy is a fuking dooch-bag.

  100. It's not a documentary, it's a parody of Bear Grylls "Man Vs Wild".

  101. Sad he has time to make a joke of those that need services. He feels help no one because of people like him that abuse the system. What a pathedic person with to much time and money.

  102. I don't recommend watching this documentary...

  103. @ Backslider
    I agree. This movie wasn't a documentary about life on the streets, it was about what it would be like if the guy in the movie tried it for 30 days.

    @ Abdul-Azim
    Really? Yeah, the situation in the middle east is fantastic! People still get stoned to death there. Clearly the education is very lacking as well, if you think all drug addicts are homosexuals. Why do so many flee the middle east to come to North America if there is so much opportunity in the middle east?

  104. This documentary is a big-o-waste of time.
    Worst documentary on streets,homeless people and drugs ever.
    This bozo fails to show the reality of the streets by his actions.Best proof:he got to try crack and heroin to bring viewers's attention.He just doesn't fit in the streets experience and meets friendly homeless people only because of that.Good marketing subject for a clever "fresh out of school" man who didn't know how to get in the films/documentaries industry..Sad.

    "Official Selection 2009 Queens International Film Festival and Official Selection 2010 Oxford FIlm Festival."-----Are you serious?
    Are these festival critics your friends? Or they don't know a thing about the streets?
    This is so r@#$%&*@ i'm out.

  105. Tried to watch all of this due to some positive comments on here but had to turn off, the guys an i@#$%, what an ignorant fool. There should be a law to stop people like him from using the homeless services that a genuine destitute person needs.

  106. @ Scott

    Bottom line your are wrong. Your argument is based on your personal experience over a short amount of time. I can't argue with you because you are an addict. I don't need to provide you with peer reviews and statistics. Keep condoning the use of crack and heroin; maybe, you can influence more people to try it.

    Good luck Scott!

  107. @ Jason

    The problem I have with your argument is your statements like this one: "3 years is a SMALL amount of time and it take some people years to progress into daily user. No one thinks they will get hooked but EVERYONE does."

    Where are you getting this information that 'everyone' gets hooked? I guarentee you there is no such information in anything peer reviewed out there.

    "Also, the the life time heroin relapse rate (for those who quit) is over 95%. No one knows the exact number."

    So is it 95% or is the exact number unknown?

    No offence, I mean whatever works for you, great. But your earlier reference to AA is telling. They focus on a disease concept of alcoholism. Which isn't the case.

    @ Princeton

    I agree with most of what you said. Where I disagree is with the notion of labelling things that are different as being the same. There are many mind altering substances and many of them are VERY different from each other. Though I do agree strongly with the final statement:
    "Get therapy, get self knowledge and understanding.. learn to love yourself in yourself with no help from chemicals, but achievements."

  108. @princeton

    Each person is different. I know how hard it is to quit smoking but smoking crack once changes the way your brain operates. Like I said, it is possible to quit. I know daily users who have been clean for decades. Again, 6 years is not that long of a time. If you win your battle with smoking you will probably never have to battle with crack BUT if you were to lose you are far more susceptible to becoming a crack addict because you have already crossed the line. Bottom line hard drugs are SERIOUSLY addictive and the VAST majority of people become hooked after one use but it might take decades for them to lose complete control. I also know "high class" hard drug users. For every function crack/heroin users there are hundreds who are living a life of misery. If you were to check up on your "high class" crack heads today; I bet most have had serious problems as a result of their use. If they haven't they will. Also, the the life time heroin relapse rate (for those who quit) is over 95%. No one knows the exact number.

    Good luck!

  109. i can't say "gaay"?

  110. dude should do a doc on gay emos. eminently qualified.

  111. "Ok, so you smoked crack once and it has been 3 years. SO WHAT! 3 years is a SMALL amount of time and it take some people years to progress into daily user. No one thinks they will get hooked but EVERYONE does. Since you already opened the door to crack it only takes one “good” weekend to set your addiction a blaze. I have seen it happen... I fear you have already sealed your fate"

    i agree with the rest of ur comment, but um.. what about someone who did it a few times (not once) 6 years ago, but instead got addicted to weed and cigarettes. i simply quit crack and never touched it again because i could feel how powerful and lifechanging it would be for me to continue.. further more, i tried not with bums on the street but with affluent members of my community who you could never tell even did any drugs (even more reason not to quit). i was only 18 then, but still knew what to stay away from.. same as cocaine.. one try was enuff for me to realize the path it would lead me to, and simply quit.
    now weed.. i've been fighting for over 5 years and now just recently managed to quit for real a few months ago, same as cigarettes. i think they are more subtle, which also makes'em more dangerous in a sense. i never tried heron.. just cant get past needles and shooting up..

    p.s. this is not to say anyone should ever try drugs.. and I strongly advise against trying any drugs, even weed and cigarettes, its a slippery road and you'll be looking back at your life with disappointment and shame. Get therapy, get self knowledge and understanding.. learn to love yourself in yourself with no help from chemicals, but achievements.

  112. it was entertaining enough; i mean i didn't know anything about this part of vancouver and how rough it actually was.

    i think he could have done some more analysis about his experiences, rather than the whole "trying drugs" thing. i know he wanted to live the way that the drug users there live, but his little foray into drugs just seemed irrelevant and unnecessary. and certainly didn't lead to any real insight.

    overall though, interesting. a decent watch.

  113. This guy did a great job. At first her came across as a insensitive brat, but after a while I could see that what he was trying to do was to show the homeless how they can get by and he was also trying to show two different views of homelessness.

    I really enjoyed this documentary, and it's one of the best I've ever seen.

  114. As Scott says, the Insite clinic is not a place you go to get "free heroin". It is a project committed to 'harm reduction', which means that they attempt to meet substance users and abusers where they are at, to provide a safe place for them to shoot up (with clean needles), with medical staff who can help with advice and emergency care, a place for them to exchange used needles for new ones so that they don't end up in playparks and dumpsters (J.S. is right, Misha was mad to be leaping into those things!). All of this helps to reduce the dangers that iv drug use poses to users and the public, especially to reduce the instances of various iv-related diseases. Its philosophy is ultimately a very pragmatic one.

    Looked at in terms of recovery, it has been for many people the first step in the incomparably difficult task of getting control of their lives, a place where they can build relationships of trust with people who can help. It is not a case of "no questions asked" so much as a case of knowing which questions to ask, when to ask them, and of who is allowed to ask them.

  115. "
    @ Jason
    You are ignorant to the realities of drugs dude. I’ve smoked crack ONCE. That was about 3 years ago and I don’t crave it at all. This is true for many people I have met. It’s not even that crazy of a buzz.
    My opinion about addiction is that people get addicted when they are hiding from themselves. They are afraid. Addiction has a lot more to do with knowing or NOT knowing what you have to live for than anything else.

    I am a recovering alcoholic and know hundreds of recovering drug addicts. I think I understand drugs more than you ever could, unless you are in recovery and sit at tables and talk to people who have and continue to battle crack and heroin along side alcohol.

    Scott, the problem I have with your argument is the you put a time frame on your judgment. Ok, so you smoked crack once and it has been 3 years. SO WHAT! 3 years is a SMALL amount of time and it take some people years to progress into daily user. No one thinks they will get hooked but EVERYONE does. Since you already opened the door to crack it only takes one "good" weekend to set your addiction a blaze. I have seen it happen.

    Please stop minimizing the addiction of hard drugs. It is to painful to watch young girls (tattered bodies with no teeth) tell stores about how they stole everything they could before they started selling their bodies for drugs. Maybe you are the exception to the rule but EVERYONE else will suffer because of your proclamations about crack. I fear you have already sealed your fate.

    Good luck.

  116. It's fine you still hold my previous comments ‘in moderation’ Vlatko. Why, I don’t know, but accept it with curiosity and equanimity. I enjoy the site anyway, and always await interesting and eclectic selections.

    (My only earlier letter ever, was to bring your attention to a Nazi propaganda film’s comment board you possibly overlooked, and in which you thanked me for mentioning some remarkably vicious ‘un-moderated comments’: Which I feel made my first comments on “Plenty” appear utterly benign!)

    Earlier comments (returning to this film) were not subjectively at least, dwelling on self-pity. Besides, I survived and love being alive... Though Hep C can ruin ones whole day, and often presage one’s demise - Cest la vie.

    Beyond, but not ignoring the previous (‘emotive appeal’) which was unlike this contributor’s generally less ‘intense’ demeanour: I am genuinely interested in potential moral / ethical questions raised by particular, I believe, unforgivable indulgences in this ‘Documentary filmmaking endeavour’.

    - Along with the nature of how one seeks to define human responsibility (if any?) in approaches to delivering ‘quality-based’(within this genre) narrative styles - or lack thereof - However ‘gritty’ its intention (or seeming dalliance?) attempted to present, despite surreal at times slap-stick meanderings.

    One forgets, having ‘lived there’, the uninitiated may find the ‘incident’ courageous , while perhaps missing that such a ‘minefield crossing’ (leaving ‘survivors’ aghast!) might present seriously misguided invitations into territories that the makers intention and understanding of potentialities for cause and effect simply go too far in titillating the unwary with an appetite for edgy explorations.

    Imagine a ‘Nature-Show’ where the intrepid host muses: “I’ve heard this moccasin snake is dangerous. Here, I’ll let it bite me.” Would this act demonstrate ‘commitment to ones craft’? One prays a similar brother (who mysteriously appears in “Plenty”) holds the antivenin close by.

    Then again, the ‘moderation status’ may be to due to an inappropriate word? - Apologies for a term that seemed applicable to the substances the narrator ingested, that saddened this viewer deeply: Watching, I believe, near insane naiveté towards such profoundly addictive chemicals.

    With this stuff, you don’t parachute in for a day and keep the video. You EMIGRATE, albeit with differing time and socio economic factors influencing the journeys length. It’s one way generally. As some of the homeless people featured will have known and exited, before edit and credit’s roll.

    I was making a genuine appeal to people of an (would it be patronising to say?) more vulnerable age or stage, whatever that might be - Hard to define, except perhaps through experiential delineations of one’s abilities to endure what appear to be ‘no prisoner’ seriously mean streets, by any standard.

  117. @ Jason
    "Like you said, it takes years of use to become addict to marijuana."

    I didn't say that. What if you smoke marijuana once and continue to do so for the next several years? Was it the initial time that made you addicted or was it the years of smoking? That is a pretty hard thing to define.
    Further still, is it the pot that you're addicted to or is it the escape that it provides? I would say that in my own experience that I was afraid to take life by the horns and smoking pot on the regular provided me with an excuse to not do that. I feel that, despite the obvious physically addictive properties of harder drugs, this might be a common problem.

    I'm not trying to be too argumentative with you, btw. Just giving my two cents. It doesn't always come out great online.

  118. Hmmmm......
    So which came first? The homelessness or the addiction..?

    Does it matter...?

    There are NO 'remedies' to addiction or homelssness without first "fixing" the soul...!

  119. Too many of you are taking the side of the downtrodden as if the host of this film were using them against their will. Don't be so eager to take up the position as defender of the homeless when this documentary was attempting to, and in my opinion, did a great job of raising awareness to the whole situation.

    To those of you that minimize his experiences in this film; You spend 30 days being homeless, then you can talk. Until then you don't have any experience to compare this to.

    I agree that there isn't a constant theme in this documentary, it starts off giving you the impression that the homeless are very privileged in Vancouver, but as the story progresses you realize that even with all the aid that is being thrown at the problem the root cause is STILL NOT BEING ADDRESSES. Even with all the help with food, clothing and shelter there is still an underlying problem that keeps these people on the streets.

    I appreciate that this film seemed a little un-aimed, and did not try to shove some biased opinion down my throat. You can definitely see the views and opinions of the host change as the film progresses, and I believe that in itself makes it more raw and real than most documentaries that ARE trying to push an agenda.

    Vlatko, I have frequented your site for over a year now, and this is my first post. I just want to say thanks for all you do, I'm not a big fan of the types of entertainment that are strictly self-serving, or that you don't at least learn something from. Your often imitated but never duplicated site is a great gift to us all, thanks for all your great work!

    1. @Backslider,

      Thanks a lot. I'm really glad when I hear that someone was visiting the site for a long period of time. It means a lot to me. Again thanks for the support.

  120. Oh NO!!!!! he gave up!!!

  121. Again -DAAAMN!!! I've commented as I've watched... And have not read any others' comments yet have seen the word "douche" repeatedly. I don't think he's a douche -naive yes, douche no. Pretty sure his heart's in the right place. And that he's not doing this documentary as a show of his 'great capacity to be empathetic towards the down-trodden, despite his personal effluence and distance from hardship' (-and a 'good grade'...) I see this as being done with sincerity. I can't help but think of the one MOST 'in-authentic' thing of all -the KNOWING that at the end of filming he CAN GO HOME! The true despair and hopelessness of the situation never REALLY having been felt...
    Having said that, I wonder about his "having to try drugs" -could it be a reason (or justification) to do something he's always wanted to? I truly hope he isn't starting himself on a path paved with misery...(AND an adequate feeling of despair...)
    I'm at the part where he's about to shoot up....

  122. Daaaaamn! He just stole blankets from another homelss person?!!?? Lucky he didn't get "the beats"...!!

  123. Daaamn! WHYYY??!?! would this guy jump in a dumpster on the east side??!?! What cut him? Hope it wasn't a dirty needle..!

  124. Ihis documentary starts off pretty cheesy and annoying. The guy is a douche for sure, but keep watching and it gets much better. In fact, it takes a very shocking turn. This film will stick with you. Please watch the ENTIRE doc before you comment on it.

  125. I don't condone the use of any drug and I understand you can become addicted to weed BUT using crack or heroin one time is a whole different ball game than marijuana. Like you said, it takes years of use to become addict to marijuana. The hard drugs are a different story; you can be hooked after using one time. Then your life can fall apart in a matter of months.

  126. Awesome documentary!

  127. @ Jason

    Also, saying, "It isn’t like weed where you can quit at anytime." is pretty ridiculous. I have personally found weed to be incredibly addictive and have known MANY people who this is true for as well. I think the assumption that it is benign leads many people to become addicted. Sure, it might not have some of the consequences that other drugs have, but smoke every day for 8 years or so and you might just wonder where your drive and ambition went. The habitual smoking of pot far outlasts the epiphanies that come with the early experiences of the drug.

  128. @ Jason
    You are ignorant to the realities of drugs dude. I've smoked crack ONCE. That was about 3 years ago and I don't crave it at all. This is true for many people I have met. It's not even that crazy of a buzz.
    My opinion about addiction is that people get addicted when they are hiding from themselves. They are afraid. Addiction has a lot more to do with knowing or NOT knowing what you have to live for than anything else.

    @ Cyn
    Way to judge before you watch the whole thing. Smart.

    @ Achems
    InSite is not a free heroin clinic. It is a clinic where people can go and shoot up safely with clean sharps.

    I'd also like to point out that the guy in the movie shoots up and is only high for ten minutes. He should have been euphoric for 2 to 4 hours. Seems like he either did a very small amount or it was a really really s@#$$% cut.

  129. This one's not trying to be a judgment trip: Just a comment, a question, and another comment. - I've been an alcoholic, and ranged in my smack habit from 'oilburner' to getting in the methadone clinic number (back to smack & all versions of opiates)- Finally subutex, booze, methadone, booze, smack, morphine)... blah blah:

    I'm straight now: All the above went from years 18 to 53. My question is: If this film makes emotionally vulnerable kids (and kids can be deadly curious!)go score and get a habit... And - It's a real possibility... Was the film valuable and informative enough to justify it's intentions? (Whatever they truly were?)

    I don't know. But I get down on my knees and beg anyone who sees this guy do something (that MAY come back to bite him) Please. Please don't shoot up, OR take that first hit of meth... Life is up and down; but that stuff is DOWN! - Often FOREVER. I lost so many beautiful & talented friends.

    Seeing him do that just hurt so very damn much it broke my heart. Please don't try that s@#$: It rips me up, to think some kid/s will copy that trip. It ain't no happy holiday: OK?Good luck out there... With Great Caring Love! - Be well.

  130. Don't worry joel; shortly the star of the show will live the torment and torture of drug addiction. I can't predict if he will end up on the streets but he probably will at one level or another. It would be wonderful if he documented his plunge into the darkness of drug addiction but he will sell his camera to buy more.

    Here is how his next experience with crack will occur. He will get drunk and be smoking some weed, then someone will offer him a hit of a rock and since he has already crossed that line once; he will easily cross it again and maybe even convince himself he is using for experimental purposes. In time he will be shooting and smoking daily......... How sad..........

  131. I can really see why people stopped after part 1 >.<

  132. He still doesn't get it, even after 25 piss weak days of failure!! Addiction..? It was evident that addiction is a direct by product of mental health issues that so many millions suffer from around the world, and I feel for the person who funded this non informative, non entertaining piece on nonsense, cos after living for almost 4 years om the street, and literally on the street, people will never understand the torture, torment, and suffering the homeless deal with every second of every day!!

  133. This guy is such a lil punk ass. Playing homeless to get a point across at the poor mans expense, could have been a good story but just falls flat!! Dont know if I can stomach finishing this film :

  134. @Dean:

    This was a bad doc.

    Understanding? you mean as understanding as that free heroin clinic, where anyone could walk off the street to get, and even get shown, how to jab yourself with heroin, no questions asked.

    Informative,? on how to get free stuff, free clothes, how to live on the street? etc: I think not! Because of this doc. the only redeeming feature might be the repercussions to that free heroin clinic.

  135. a very good documentary. to all the haters...its this kind of ignorance that breeds social problems if we were all more understanding heroin users would be reduced in numbers, im sure they dont do it because they woke up one day and thought im gonna get loaded but instead they obviously made a series of bad decisions. im ashamed of you guys who slandered this very informative film. how many of you guys would be willing to live as Misha did for the sake of awareness? i invite you guys to do better if you think you can remove the silver spoon of ignorance from your backside

  136. I tend to agree with @Jason, our hero was reiterating how good he felt after taking that hit of heroin, granted he felt bad after, but humans being the way they are will basically hold uppermost in their minds only how good it felt, they will be forever searching for that feeling of euphoria, taking a hit of a hard drug is extremely dangerous. Not recommended at all.

  137. That is the case my friend.

    I am not saying it is impossible to quit but one time and you are hooked. It then becomes a life long battle to abstain. It isn't like weed where you can quit at anytime. The VAST majority of users don't use hard drugs once and stop. Through their life it will progress to more frequent use. It takes some people a few months to destroy their lives; it takes others a few decades but it will happen. No point in arguing facts. The only person who would possibly disagree would be a drug user.

    Our friend in the video will be using drugs again. No one who gets hooked on hard drugs thinks they will get hooked but they ALL do. No one is immune to the addiction of hard drugs. NO ONE. Good luck to you.

  138. @Scott:

    Right, that is why, to me it is just a parody.

  139. @ Jason

    "One time and you are HOOKED!"

    That's not really the case at all.

    @ Achems

    While I agree that it would be a much different experience without a camera present, I don't see how you make a film without one.

  140. I was surprised there wasn't a single mention of crystal meth in this entire doc. I assumed that 40-60% of the homeless people would be meth addicts. I talked with a Vancouver cop a few years back and he told me there was a major drug war going on between the Hispanic gangs and the biker gangs over the meth trade. I imagine when you are homeless and suffering you probably will use whatever is available.

  141. @jack:

    Basically this whole doc. was phony. He had a camera crew, his brother et al: who knows what happened behind the scenes to alleviate any discomfort that he might have experienced.

    Coming out of Burrard inlet with only jocks on, What the h*ll was that supposed to represent? and then parading around town? give me a break.
    Got hit over the head with a bottle? right, was he alone? no. sensationalism anybody?

    The only part that might be somewhat real is when he was taking some Heroin, so he is still a twitt, in my books.

  142. i like the comments on here.. this website and it's viewers give me hope for the future of humanity. so many intelligent remarks.

    @ jack.. yup i completely agree. i did crack a couple times, never got addicted.. because i could see where it would lead if i kept doing it, so i stopped. one use of any drug doesn't prove much. u said it well, its not drugs that's the problem and drugs are not the only thing that one can be addicted to.

    I just recently gave up cigs, weed, and alcohol all at once after 5 years of religious use. though i was able to work myself out of homelessness to a point of relative comfort and success while still on those drugs, i do understand how they contributed to my predicaments. (was homeless twice, once in FL, once in TX) The truth is there are other deeper issues within the psyche that cause one to become addicted in the first place, not just the drugs themselves.
    I also agree that this kid is pretty much a douche who still doesn't get the whole picture. one bad trip and he ran back home with his tail between his legs. also i don't think trying heroin has anything to do with what homeless ppl face. many are not on heroin or crack.. i think that was more of a gimmick.
    I still liked the video tho simply because of the lovely twist from happy go lucky to sick throwing up and shitin on self, which i'm sure will serve to bring many people to a better understanding of the situation and raise the empathy level of those who view it as he did at the start...

  143. @ scott, achems, mike; c/ princeton:
    I believe his point was that 'addiction' rather than 'drugs' was the main issue. I agree that his experiment with crack and heroin was ill-conceived, if only because, as he said, the problem is 'addiction' and so he would have had to entertain the substances AS an addiction to properly "experience" that element of street life. So in the end the risk didn't seem to contribute much. (Except maybe that, in his final dabbling with heroin at the end of a couple weeks of relative discomfort, we see something of a personality shift and a sapping of his motivation to finish out the project as planned--quite unlike the confident and clearminded decision-making, not to say grinning douchery, of the early segments of his foray straight out of the harbour(?) and into the best that Vancouver social services had to offer).

    While the experiment does allow him to describe some positive feelings associated with the high, the problem is that serious addiction is not really about the positive things a substance makes you feel, but the fact that you are compelled to smoke/inject/imbibe it again and again, in greater and greater quantities, ultimately in spite of how it makes you feel, and in spite of consequences (which often diminish in the mind in the hour-by-hour, day-to-day, year-after-year grind of finding ways to silence the cravings) and to life-damaging effect if not checked.

  144. As am I KS. I suggest going to AA. It has helped me. I suggest trying out every meeting in town till you find one you like. Google alcoholics anonymous and find your local chapter from there you can find a meeting. It might be awkward at first but you will get to know people and it will help. If anything, it reminds me, after years of sobriety, why I quit. You can do it! I have selected to be notified of updates, so I u want to contact me post again. I can give you my email. Good luck!

  145. As always, I read the comments before watching the film and you guys had me cringing before I hit play.

    It took a couple go's in the first 10 mins to get through the crappy intro... The guy seems like a spoiled rich kid with a handycam and a crappy movie maker program.

    Now, Having watched this through to the end I have just one thing to say to the people that dissed' this film - Don't be so damned narrow minded. It blows my mind that you could watch someone illustrate something horrible and then bitch about how YOU weren't satisfied with it...
    What makes a documentary and why should this one be classified as a lesser product because you don't like their style?... Why cant a kid recognize a problem that is close to him, take a leap into the unknown and let the world around him plan his route for us all to see in the best way he knows how?

    So he took crack and heroin... It seemed a natural progression for this film if he was to get completely immersed in this world. I wouldn't do it, or recommend even my worst enemy to do what he did. I do not praise him for his actions but I was grateful for the first hand account of someone on these drugs... The footage was chilling (and just re-affirmed why I stay away from that stuff!), but I felt it was important to show how easy it is to get hooked when you live on the streets and why the drugs+homelessness cycle seems never ending and un-fixable all over the world.

    Try to not be so biased.... Why watch these films if you do not want to find out new things and be challenged? Count yourself lucky (and perhaps point out to yourself) that you get to sit in your cosy chair eating popcorn and watching with a critical eye while there are guys like this kid, taking himself out of the shiny world he knows just to get a story out that will inspire people to make a change.

    I thought this was just riveting and so informative. There were many comments from people from both sides of the fence. You could make several documentaries or talk for hours on the topics and issues raised here. Thanks very much for this one, Vlatko.

    PS. In Australia, injections rooms are now government approved after a 10 year study. These aren't party places where kids will go for fun to shoot up the first time with their mates before becoming crazy criminals. These are safe areas for an addicted person to shoot up and be taken care of if need be - with the opportunity to talk to medical professionals who can teach safer use practices or discuss quitting... You can't really ask more than that.

  146. this guy is a bit of a Douche bag to say the least...

    the fact that he said the word "junkie" and used the term "r@#$%&*&" in a film about addition and mental illness shows me that he is not well educated in these matters, he's a rich brat who probably did this movie as a "dare" from his westend frat buddies....

    I live in East Vancouver in a wonderful community , and co-exist daily with addicts and prostitutes... and if it's one thing they want and deserve it's respect from "normal" people.... I can't believe he was doing crack and heroin as a "social experiment" it is incredibly disrespectful to all the drug users in the dtes who would do anything to have never starting using....

    he may have opened his mind and become more aware of the issues but he's still a pretty frat boy...

  147. Good luck KS, that's really strong of you to share this.

  148. Here's an afterthought: drop into a Vancouver SUBURB under the same conditions, and see how you do.

  149. This guy is a total asshat.. he totally misses the point, and is just a general douche. Having lived and experienced life in Vancouver's East side, and having seen the depravity, I can not take seriously someone seeming to "blame"the homeless for their situation in life, also implying that they take advantage of a system that clearly does not work in their favor. No one chooses to be homeless. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous documentaries about a topic of huge concern in our country... how about you try their shoes on for size in a more realistic way. I want to crack a bottle over your head too, you privileged piece of s@#$.

  150. I am addicted to alcohol and know the power of addiction. This film brought me to my knee's with realism. I know now I have to do everything in my power to fight this. Or I'll end up just like the others. Highly Recommend This Doc. AAA+++

  151. For some reason the guy was really annoying to me.

  152. good doc! BUT WTF????? Doing crack and heroin to experience their life? What a fool, he will be back there one day as a real resident. One time and you are HOOKED! It might take you 50 years to become a bum but it will happen. I have seen it.

  153. That man is a complete TWIT this is a perfect example of self-indulgent, self obsessed shameless self promotion, i feel robbed and raped by this 'documentary'

  154. I thought this doco was worthwhile. As a vicarious traveller I like to see real places shown, it was technically well done and didn't get boring as many do. I thought the initial attitudes shown were a parody on the way all of us who have a warm bed to sleep in can sometimes think.

  155. Not much to say to this one. It ended strong with a stark reality. No insight to change no hope for improvement just realization.

  156. The guy in the second video that was mocking the narrator, talking about his sock costs more than the guy's outfit is a douche.

  157. Not much to say to this one. It ended strong with a stark reality. No insight to change no hope for improovement just realization.

  158. No - there is more to homelessness than drugs. This guy would seriously die on the real streets :(

  159. This film truly is a SOFT look at what it is to live on the streets. Of course the day to day bull that is endured, The work the "slaves of addiction" really do was only hinted at. I know, I am sure many people know that pan handling and squeegeeing are the most benign ways that habits are supported. All in all though, this film made the last statement very very compelling. If you come here, and get addicted, you stay here.
    NOT TRUE. No one has to stay. Every slave has a Harriet Tubman and an underground railroad. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

  160. Technically, this is well-done. But it is wrong on so many other levels. Having just seen the first clip, I see
    he switches tone - from an earnest examination of the East side's troubles to - play! He's like those hip travel videographers, surrounded by tribespeople while he cutely (for the folks back home) chews on a grasshopper. I bailed when he jumped into the dumpster and rubbed garbage on his head to rockin' tunes. Film-maker: please consider this a draft, and smarten the hell up. Some respect would be a good place to start.

  161. Should have added, hope this doc. does not make new addicts, ones that are curious to see what drugs are like, they might figure why not try it? he did!

  162. I agree with @Jane:

    Can see it now, come to Van. Canada! free heroin injections! no questions asked!

    Already have infiltration for our free health-care, so why not this?

  163. @ Jane

    Very well said, its great to see someone contemplating that question. Too often we say, "Oh, if you help them it really hurts them." This is by far not the rule but the exception in my experience. This is why we need to contemplate this question and not just turn our backs to the poor or homeless.

    I often get told by the very people that protest abortions that the charities I am involved with make the situation worse. Why stop fighting for the childs life because he is now a reality, flesh and bone right in front of ours eyes?

    In my area we see a lot of poverty but not many homeless. So I am not familiar with problem enough to understand it very well. I was offended by this documentary though, as I am a recovering addict myself. The way this guy just plays with it like its nothing, he clearly did not understand the true risks- as you said already. You can not understand addiction or even dependency unless you experience it, which takes much longer than six days.

    I tried to watch this twice but I just do not like it, simple and offensive. Not to mention this guy took places in shelters, stole blankets from true homeless, took christmas present from charities- all when he is not poor at all- just playing a game. Think of all the truley needy people that could have made use of those resources, this guy should get beat down.

    Unless this manages to raise awareness to such a degree as to off set the negative effects he is responcible for, I don't see that happening, he is a horrible person that has done nothing but make light of seriouse problems, misrepresent other peoples pain and suffering, and steal from the real homeless population in that area.

  164. Misha went into experiment as a smart ass middle class brat and came out of it a disillusioned human being. His drug use was foolish in the extreme, it was fairly obvious he had no clue just how big a risk he was taking.

    The most disturbing element was the InSite worker, she prepared a hit for someone who was clearly not a junkie and instructed him on how best to inject the stuff!

    I sincerely doubt this scenario was part of the original vision for the centre. Presumably the logic is "If he's going to do it, might as well show him how to do it properly" but the kid said he was scared and hoped she would break the needle. If she hadn't been so helpful there was a good chance he'd have forgone the experience. Nor was there any discussion about the possible life-changing consequences of drug use; this is liberal ethics gone horribly wrong and highlights one of the hardest questions a free society must answer: How can we be compassionate without being enabling?

  165. O.k. I'll try and watch it all, if its that good. The first part is awful that is for sure. I didn't get past him making fun of the homeless and I turned it off, knee jerk reaction I suppose.

  166. To those who think that the "it sucks" comments refer to the silliness at the beginning... Yes, it sucks at the beginning but it does *not* get any better through the end. There is an attempt to fake a "mindset transformation" kind of story line, but it fails miserably. The viewer is left with an impression that the makers are just as dumb and confused at the end of this production as they demonstrate themselves to be in the starting minutes. They slap on this "transformation" to sort of paint themselves in a better light, but they simply lack any insight or depth. Their intent to play smart a@@#$%&* is even visible in the final scene where the wannabe homeless faker tries to ridicule and lecture the mayor. This film could pass as a first year student project, but not more.

  167. @ Linda McGuigan

    I agree with you Linda - well said and I truly respect the knowlegable opinion of someone coming from Glasgow - Ive been to Glasgow a few times and I love the place, but sheesh! you know all about this stuff - unfortunately.
    Thanks for the blog - What happened to the Gorbals? - or are they still there? love Sade

  168. I thought this was going to be a piss take of the homeless by some upper class twat also. but then I kept watching and I was glad I did not that I condone his drug taking. Here in Glasgow as in any big city we have the same problem's as to what come's first addiction or homelessness I dont know but I dont think anyone wake's up one morning and say's Oh I am going to become an addict and homless today.


  169. this guy is a joke what a horrible doco

  170. I really enjoyed this Documetary - I learned a lot from it.
    Interestingly, when I wanted to talk a bit about the unique presentation - and I was surprised at how difficult it was for me to find (the Presenters) name in the credits.... so now Im impressed with this guys self-deprecatory, fiesty yet vulnerable and quirky approch to a very miserable situation. respect!.

    and Im wishing Vancouver well.

  171. Sorry for my typos, I posted without proofing ... that's just how it came out.

  172. That he did do Heroin and that he showed the experience of the safe injection site I think contributes value larger than what the documentary making skill set of him and his brother may or may not be. Viewers bring their relative experience(s) with addiction, suffering and ostracize-ation to this production (or the absence of those things) and so it's hard to say. I hard a hard time getting a grip on reality years ago. I have memory problems, took a lot of things and didn't really understand what was going on at the time. I now have vocabulary and context to frame where my symptoms were coming from. I've been told my inability to feel in control and feel safe in my own head came from being addicted and suffering withdrawal. A friend a couple years ago committed suicide successfully. I have mixed feelings of course; part of me knows the terror of not being able to turn voices off in my mind; feeling like a host of voices are laughing at me 24 hours a day and telling me I'll never have my mental peace again.

    I appreciated the conversations he had with the people; I wish there were more of them. The whole thing is sad. Despite the suggestion that reality can be subjective and that who is to say whose reality is truest? I still am sad to think of these people that are Sons, Daughters, Mothers and Fathers ... people who represent the deepest senses of love, pride, loss and sorrow for others. That they are seemingly lost is sad.

    I'll spare you all the sermon but for me, my inability to reconcile things like Darwinian Evolution, Carbon Dating and Bible Stories that are too weird to even try to justify does not prevent me from believing that something about the idea of a higher power still thinking I was worth fighting for made a difference for me to begin.

    I guess I'm alive so I must not have been that hardcore. I would not want to go near anywhere where I might even entertain the idea of using bloody well anything for fear I'd never make it back to reality. That's why I'm clean and dry till the day I day; if not for me, then for my Wife and 4 Children.

  173. @ Achems
    I think that his 'flippant attitude' at the beginning of the movie was actually kind of excellent. That's how LOTS of people do feel about the situation. Lots of people think that all homeless are scammers or just lazy.

    To me the film brought to light these important factors of homelessness:
    -Harm Reduction
    -Mental Illness
    -The sickness and desease that plagues these people especially in Van

    Maybe he didn't get the whole picture (prostitution, gang violence etc.) but it did bring up some of it. I also think that it was accessable to people from the same socio-economic class that he comes from. Who, in reality, are the people with the strongest political voice.

  174. I preferred Carts of Darkness and Squeegee Kids to this, but I do appreciate that they probably helped to raise awareness about homelessness. Hope maybe this helps get some people off the street or at least keeps others from starting that lifestyle.

  175. nothing new...
    sorry but waste of time

  176. Poor people do drugs?...and drugs make you poor?

    Now how about some answers... because a lot of us don't know the answers or worse, come off like we do. All we can do is make it easier for the one's that are too far gone and stop the what causes people to start, which can be a million reasons?

    Here is my two cents...

    Doing crack and shooting up heroin for the first time, doesn't make this guy a 100 watt bulb in my books. Now if he lost a couple of those pearly white teeth during the filming, then I may might move him up a notch on the sincerity scale.

  177. What starts out kind of satirical, moves into seriousness then the harsh realities. The upper-class kid learned about the harsh reality of homelessness and addiction. It is unfortunate that he felt he needed to shoot up for the "full" experience...I don't think it was necessary to his understanding. Just watching and talking with those people was startling in itself. But that's just my take...he felt he needed to do so. Not a bad doc., not a great doc. But it was an interesting watch.

  178. Yes i agree with Richard, this is a very interesting documentary and you should watch it till the end because he actually raises some good issues that are usually glossed over or completely ignored by most.
    For one.. addiction is one of the main causes of homelessness. I know from personal experience.
    But where i dissent is that addiction is not the first cause, but merely a symptom of other deeper psychological problems.
    You can give a man money and shelter, but until you deal with the deeper issues that caused him to become addicted in the first place, you can never fully rehabilitate him, nor can u expect any long term change.
    I bet they all had terrible childhoods and never experienced any real empathy for their situations.
    poverty will never end until we realize that each and every human being on the planet is highly valuable and should be treated as a rare and irreplaceable commodity that we can all benefit from "investing" in. Investing being the keyword here, not just throwing money at them in the form of handouts/charities. Whatever you subsidize just grows (poverty grows with all the money we donate)

  179. As per my last blog, drug addiction and homelessness is far more horrible and terrible even than the attempt that was made by the person to find out, knowing full well that he could go home at any time which he did, but have to admit he did loose his flippant attitude and redeem himself somewhat at the end.

  180. Cant believe he went that far. He did seem unaware and spoiled at the start but he began to dive into the street scene, Just as he started feeling the s@#$& waters he jumped out. Too bad, the next four days would have been brutal but telling. Good doc, got guts.

  181. I found this documentary extremely disturbing especially the drug use by the "star" and the enabling procedures by a government supported agency. She could easily tell that he had no knowledge of how to use nor inject heroin, yet she was a very supportive trainer. I mean anyone on a lark could go down there who has absolutely no ideal on how to do it properly and they would make sure you got high. Incredible!
    This documentary does cause me to ask one question for the first time what comes first the homelessness or the addiction. As was said a few times by a few experts there are always people looking for the path of less resistance and also some of us think 20 steps ahead while others look ahead to the next hour only. Of course most of us fall in between. Come on life isn't fair and there will always be billionaires and people making minimum wages at best and some of those will be on the streets.

  182. I really think that this doc has to be seen right through. At the beginning it seemed like a "bratty spoiled college student" just trying to make the homeless seem like thief's.

    After a while he quickly realizes that this is not the case. Yes there is some "perks" but they go away quickly, and in not enough time to move above the poverty line. He quickly realizes that homelessness is not easy, and is not a scam. It is hard work. He also makes very good ties to addiction.

    Overall, it started out no so good. it turned out to be very well done. very worth it to see it through.

  183. oscar glad i read your comment and turned it back on because was actually pretty good in fact very good.

    I think that he was extremely stupid trying either c@#$% or heroin especially heroin and i'm saying this from 17years of experience with both (still fighting h).
    i hope it don't come back and bite him,and they must at least of tried to discourage him at the injecting clinic cos it was so obvious he'd never used heroin especially to someone that deals with iv drug users every day.

    walk a month in someone else shoes and it soon changes your perspective,he certainly seemed very different by the end of this
    so ignore my previous comment and give it a chance you'll be glad you did.

  184. I am happy that I didn't just take the bad review to chaulk watching this documentary. It is an informed piece that sheds some lights on the plight of the sick population in Vancouver and by extending all over North America.
    Good job guys!

  185. Heroin and crack for the film.....So foolish

  186. he's lost me - maybe some other time

  187. dont bother wastin ta time

  188. Great story telling. Great camera to editing and sound art. Great everything and I don't agree with final negative tone. Things get better. Sadly slowly.

  189. I too thought this doc was a waste of time......but then i finished it and believe me i changed my mind.To all who thought this doc was a waste of time and the narrator was a "douche"you obviously didnt watch the whole thing.I think alot of people should watch this documentary including classrooms so people would get a better perspective as to what being homeless and addicted is all about.Cheers

  190. This docu is a relatively soft take (though chock full of triggers)on the Hastings scene, and nothing looks to have changed save for meandering political climates, from what I experienced in the 70's.

    Side-note on prohibition (yes, a political slant)
    Firstly, you have to commend the guy as he faced and took upon his duty as a upstanding citizen in a democratic country, to go out and break unjust laws. Then bitch slap him for his stupidity.
    Speculate for a moment, how many people get drawn into crack and heroin, Meth etc. use as a result of chance availability, when shopping for cannabis.
    Prohibition just doesn't work. It never has...Ever. There was Adam, Eve and the prohibited fruit. Okay, its biblical, you don't have to buy it, but still, its a simple point.

  191. The first part sucks but worth watching for the end I agree with you richard

  192. Hey, i didn't mean that in a negative way toward Vlatko's site at all. I still love this place and want to thank Vlatko, I just didn't care for this particular doc. Thats what i meant. Sorry Vlatko if I offended.

  193. Two words: This sux.

  194. This guy is a spoiled brat twitt, if he was actually alone without his backup crew, he would not be so flippant, and thinking everything is such a big joke, making fun of homeless people etc:

    I am a Vancouverite, Van. is my home town. And it ain't nothing as this farce portrays.

  195. @ das

    What have you done to raise awareness about addictions and homelessness? What are your original ideas?? Will your cynicism solve any of the problems addressed in this film??

  196. I liked this documentary myself.
    I thought it was a good idea. I didn't think the guy was that bad really. If you have been to the east side you might realize just how brave this was.
    For what it's worth I live in Victoria, BC.

  197. das: Watch the entire documentary. Not just the first part.

  198. As a documentary it was not very informative, but entertainment wise it did its job, i was still surprised he was committed enough to take the risks that he did.

  199. All these comments made by people who have never even experienced the situation the narrator or any improvished person ever had to live and die through!

    This was an informative documentary OP. Dealt with a lot of social issues that many people are unaware of, such as the narrator himself had come to realize at the summarization of the film.

  200. Great concept fo a doco but i couldnt finish watchin it, this guy is a f@#kin douche bag!!!

  201. This documentary was apparently invented as they went along and comes out as a hodge-podge of confused and incoherent ideas. If it reveals anything, it is the inexperience of its makers. I also wonder who sponsored the production, for it had a disturbing political slant, although this too could be attributed to the cluelessness of the crew.

    1. I have reflected plenty on this film, and the 'disturbing political slant' seems deliberate - esp considering the headgames at the end, trying to say his perspective has changed when it essentially hasn't

  202. Sad excuse for a video that had the potential to be informative and engaging.

    This is honestly the worst "documentary" I have ever seen.

  203. 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.

  204. What das said.

  205. well this was a waste of time.. some brat playing homeless.. not really original either.