Eastside Unfiltered is a character driven POV documentary, which explores how green respite serves as a sanctuary in the centre of chaos, and aims to humanize a community otherwise demonized through stereotypes of drug use, crime, & prostitution. For years Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has been described as a “black hole”, a slippery slope that its residents can’t escape. Largely, its been reported on from a distance, however this POV documentary immerses itself into the lives of people attempting to escape, redefine, or come to terms with this “black hole”.
Tying these characters together is the collaborative mother-daughter team, which brought bees and apiculture into the Eastside as a therapeutic outlet for at-risk populations. Hives For Humanity, is a non-profit based out of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, co-founded by daughter Sarah Common, a social worker in the DTES, and mother/ master beekeeper: Julia Common. The film has till now followed a number of homeless, at-risk members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside through the spring and summer months, and now looks ahead, as the flowers die off, the shelters fill, and the bees hunker down for the winter. In the past, this period of time has led to severe depressions, relapse, and an inability to make ends meet for a population who relies so heavily on this seasonal work & community. I intend to continue following these people throughout this time of adversity and into the following spring, to capture the true impact of green respite in the centre of Canada’s poorest postal code.
© Nick Quenville