6.7/10
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6 user

Streets of Plenty (2010)

With the 2010 Olympics approaching, will the world get to know Vancouver's darkest secret? 'Streets of Plenty' chronicles one man's perilous journey to live in Vancouver's downtown east ... See full summary »

Writer:

Misha Kleider (concept and narration)
Reviews
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Misha Kleider Misha Kleider ... Himself - Narrator
Gregor Robertson Gregor Robertson ... Himself - Interviewee
Gabor Mate Gabor Mate ... Himself - Interviewee
Thomas Kerr Thomas Kerr ... Himself - Interviewee
Liz Evans Liz Evans ... Herself - Interviewee
Anita Palepu Anita Palepu ... Herself - Interviewee
Will Small Will Small ... Himself - Interviewee
Kurt Preinsburg Kurt Preinsburg ... Himself - Interviewee
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Storyline

With the 2010 Olympics approaching, will the world get to know Vancouver's darkest secret? 'Streets of Plenty' chronicles one man's perilous journey to live in Vancouver's downtown east side ghetto. The rules of this twisted social experiment? Starting with only a pair of underwear, he must survive the harsh winter streets for 31 days. 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. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to: Everyone we met on the street... See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Look At Life In Vancouver's Downtown East Side
12 July 2018 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

Misha Kleider decided to make a documentary about the plight of Vancouver's homeless. He sets it in the context of Vancouver having been awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics and repeatedly being named one of the best cities in the world to live in. And his goal is to expose the other side of Vancouver - the 10 square block nightmare of the Downtown East Side, where homelessness, violence, drug addiction and prostitution are common. There's some value in pointing out the distinction between the two sides of Vancouver. I'm more familiar with Toronto - living only about an hour from that city - but the cities are in many ways similar. There's a lot of affluence, and there's a lot of poverty. Basically, to live in either you have to be either wealthy or poor, because the middle class is being squeezed out by the lack of affordable decent housing. But I have to confess that I also had a knee jerk negative reaction going into this. Kleider seems to be a relatively affluent white kid who thinks he'll learn about homelessness on Vancouver's Downtown East Side by pretending to be homeless on Vancouver's Downtown East Side. Not really the same thing - since Kleider could choose to call it quits anytime he wanted. And in spending his month on the streets he uses resources that could have actually been used by the real homeless. And I have to confess that I found his ultimate learning from his experience to be underwhelming to say the least - there's a strong connection between homelessness and drug addiction. I probably could have guessed that.

I was concerned by the beginning of the film - for a while it looked like it was going to be a "slam the poor" sort of film, blaming them for their own situation and suggesting (as many do) that they actually have life pretty easy. Thankfully, that seems to have been a bit of a set-up, because the tone changes dramatically once Kleider has been on the streets for a few days and really starts to see the situation closer up. He did help shed light on what to many people is a mystery - why do some homeless people choose to stay on the streets even when there are shelter beds available? Turns out Kleider learned that in a lot of ways (especially health-wise) the streets are actually safer than the shelters. Point taken. And there really is no simple answer to the problem of homelessness - the point made by an interview he had with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who took office with a promise to end homelessness and then - like so many politicians who make grandiose promises - realized that he wasn't going to pull that off. Kleider also made some questionable and even disturbing choices in the course of filming. I realize he wanted to experience the plight of people living in the Downtown East Side - but actually trying crack and heroin was too extreme for my liking - and, frankly, his brother (who was doing the filming) should have walked at that point and refused to be a participant in Misha's stupidity. In doing the experimentation with heroin, mind you, he did give us a look into what's it's like in a supervised injection site. It's a controversial idea, and I can see both the pros and the cons of the concept - and what I saw here really didn't sway me to either side.

This isn't a total waste. It does point out the problem of life on the streets - and it's likely similar in all large cities, and not just Vancouver. But my gut reaction to this was simply not positive. (4/10)


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