6.9/10
117
5 user 1 critic

The Life (2004)

Two Canadian cops start videotaping the drug scene in Vancouver.

Director:

Lynne Stopkewich
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1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Greenwood ... Arnie
Brian Markinson ... Tony
Alisen Down ... Crystal
Nancy Sivak Nancy Sivak ... Rose
Terry Chen ... Daryl
Ian Tracey ... Matt
Duncan Fraser ... McTavish
John Cassini ... Victor Pinto
Katharine Isabelle ... Amber Reilly
Nicholas Campbell ... John Reilly
James Crescenzo James Crescenzo ... Constable (as Jim Crescenzo)
Jada Stark Jada Stark ... Crack Addict #1
Glen Gould ... Crack Addict #2
Tim Fanning Tim Fanning ... Bagpiper
Melanie Blackwell ... Suzie
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Storyline

Arnie and Tony are partnered Vancouver police officers. They were raised in the Downtown Eastside, where they now walk the beat. The Downtown Eastside is now the poorest neighbourhood in Canada and is riddled with open drug use. They want to be a small part of the neighbourhood's redemption. The current mentality on the force regarding the drug war is to "arrest the dealers, chase the addicts and pretend it's getting better". Using an addict in person at a high school outreach talk gives Arnie and Tony the idea to film real people telling real stories about life in the neighbourhood as an effective way to get the message out to kids about the dangers of even trying drugs. The video ruffles some feathers both amongst the addicts and the police force. Arnie and Tony take it hard when one of the regulars of the neighbourhood and a key part of the video dies; they feel they need to do something grand to acknowledge the lives of the forgotten. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops, two choices... look the other way or break the rules...

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Performed by Hinterland
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User Reviews

 
Excellent movie
27 June 2010 | by ogyaSee all my reviews

I just watched this movie, and I wish it could be shown to Cops around the world, to remind them of citizenship, community engagement, a hunger and desire to see positive change, and their role in that enterprise, and ... what have you ... It's a well-written movie with various sub-plots that puts a human face to the drug problem in our cities, and can go a long way to show cops what life on the beat could be like in solving urban/community problems.

I am challenged by the movie, and will start looking for it to buy. It is a good example of creative problem-solving for students of life. It also raises many salient issues about the fine line between condoning and 'worrking with' drug cultures versus just showing the bare facts to make a point, and hoping that people will get the point being made. It also shows the fine line between the 'investment' of tax dollars on such 'rehab' and hand-holding initiatives, versus doing what is conventionally expected from the police service, and not 'wasting' tax dollars on such unconventional initiatives.

As an educator, I find this to be a compelling movie that would be useful in debating issues including public budgeting/resource allocation, the police services, public service in general, community engagement, creative problem solving, change-making, ethics, leadership, etc...

Anyway, this movie in a word, is "excellent".


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