This award-winning documentary film, shot in Vancouver, Canada’s notorious Downtown Eastside, caught the eyes of audiences, film makers and critics worldwide for its unusual and sensitive depiction of life on the street.
Through A Blue Lens documents a year of life and death on the street and behind tenement walls. The striking thing about the film is not the horror of drug abuse but the story of how the interaction between the police and the drug addicts, with the camera as a catalyst, actually changed the people involved. The cops became more sympathetic to the people on the street and the drug addicts, in having friendship extended to them by the police and film makers, developed self-esteem and, in some cases, actually cleaned up.
This documentary was made during the height of the then unpublished scandal of the missing women in downtown Vancouver. At least one of the women who appears on camera named April Reoch was later identified was thought to be one of the victims. She died on Christmas Day of 2000. It was later discovered that she was murdered by Ian Mathieson Rowe, and not by Robert Pickton.