Modern Construction: An MDFF Retrospective
  • March 5, 2021 through April 1, 2021

Formally rigorous and, given its clinical subject matter, surprisingly moving.”

Norman Wilner, Now Magazine, on East Hastings Pharmacy

East Hastings Pharmacy
Canada 2012
Antoine Bourges
46 min.

Simultaneously a fictionalization, a reconstruction, and a documentation” (Cinema Scope), Antoine Bourges’s trompe l’oeil treatment of the rites and routines of methadone patients receiving their medication in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside employs real-life patients playing themselves,” a pharmacist portrayed by a professional actor (Shauna Hansen), and a set recreating an actual East Hastings pharmacy. This unique hybrid work, the centrepiece of Bourges’s DTES trilogy (which also includes the two shorts screening in this program), shows the influence of Jeff Wall’s photographic staging techniques of near documentary” and asserts the beguiling power of verisimilitude in how we negotiate documentary truth.” Recipient of the Colin Low Award at DOXA 2012 and top prize at Kasseler Dokfest, Germany.

preceded by

Woman Waiting
Canada 2010
Antoine Bourges
15 min.

An impoverished, middle-aged woman awaits the next steps in a social housing application in Antoine Bourges’s Beckettian MDFF debut, filmed in Vancouver in 2010. Selected for TIFF, Berlinale, and SXSW.


William in White Shirt
Canada 2015
Antoine Bourges
12 min.

William, a young man living in Vancouver’s depressed Downtown Eastside, makes arrangements with his caseworker to visit his son in this sobering, B&W slice of social realism. 

Watch a pre-recorded Q&A between writer-director Antoine Bourges and Cinematheque Programming Associate Shaun Inouye.