This is a fascinating, but brief documentary about an indigenous former drug dealer, trying to get his life on track that is alternatively funny and sad. It doesn’t sugar coat anything, which is greatly appreciated.
I suspect this was made for TVO (or some equivalent) so that explains it’s extremely brief runtime. It focuses entirely on Chris Hoard’s attempts to get his life together over what feels like a couple of months (but could easily be much longer). Hoard has been diagnosed with severe mental health problems and one of the questions this documentary raises is how much of those can be attributed to his upbringing as an indigenous kid with abusive foster parents. He’s clearly very intelligent and you can’t help but wonder if he had loving parents and had been raised in a community where kids didn’t bully him due to his ethnicity, if he would have turned out differently.
The documentary covers how hard it is for someone like him to navigate the world and how things are stacked against him, as well as how he can get in his own way. There’s also a fascinating part where a childhood friend tries to help him and the whole thing is incredibly awkward. It’s particularly timely for me given something that happened to people I used to know, recently. And it made me think about the choices we make and how we don’t really think about those choices very often if ever, unless we’re forced to. I lost track of one of my childhood friends, who I knew was troubled. I’ve Googled him the odd time but otherwise don’t think much about him. And I know I was one of the many, many people who let him down. (In my defense, I was 14.) I imagine if I ever found him and tried to hang out with him the whole thing would be similarly awkward (and I might be as similarly clueless as this couple).
There’s no ending and there’s no sugar-coating: this guy’s life sucks and it’s not getting any better. And that is greatly appreciated. But it’s slight and could have a broader focus.