Everyday Activist - The Stairs

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 04:00 PM

The Stairs

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

I read a Globe & Mail article about The Stairs whereby the director, Hugh Gibson, was puzzled that despite winning awards, he still had trouble finding a distributor. Having watched the film, I understand why. On one hand capturing the vulnerability of people is tough, especially those who have been hurt. Trust is hard to build as a therapist forget a filmmaker, so I’m glad the juries gave them credit where credit was due. On the other hand, the power of documentary film is to connect with audiences to give them understanding if not tools to change the world around them or at least change their minds. Given the material he had to work with, he definitely could have done a better job aiding audience comprehension that with support no matter how difficult the circumstances, people can overcome strife.

Going back to university at 38 for a social work degree after suffering a brain injury terrifies me and I had no trouble accessing resources from my comfortable perch. Marty, Greg and Roxanne battled against all odds to not only love themselves enough to address their demons and drug addictions, but to also to become social workers within their community. How can others emulate their success? To do this we need to focus on what tipped their scales so that they could commit to a life change. What obstacles did they face accessing education? Where do they currently need support? Marty talks a little bit about how he changed. Apparently, an organization gave addicts money each week to have a captive audience for two hours. On the third week, Marty grew curious and asked how he could do what the presenters were doing. Obviously, that program worked, given that both presenters had had addiction issues, but we don’t know learn anything else about it.

Addiction is nothing more than pain management gone sideways. We`ve all suffered from painful experiences whether physical, mental or emotional at some point in our lives. Recovery requires good coping skills that are rooted in having meaningful purpose, good health, acceptance, mindfulness, supportive community and mostly importantly to have people listen to our story with the intent to understand, not judge. This undoubtedly was the strength of The Stairs. Giving several people an international platform to share their pain and triumphs deserves awards.

For anyone interested in Harm Reduction, the film goes through different programs available in Toronto, being delivered by those who know and understand the risks having been there. In Alberta, Eventbrite has a number of events listed for Calgary and Edmonton. The Stairs will play at the Plaza Theatre January 19 to 25, 2018 and in Edmonton January 21st, at 3 pm at the Metro Theatre. 

Calgary Showtimes: Stairs, The >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.