There is no topic that unites all of Vancouver quite like that of housing. At every dinner party, social gathering, or chance meeting in the street, everyone has an opinion, and they want to share it. Acclaimed director Charles Wilkinson gets to the heart of the matter with his latest feature documentary, VANCOUVER: NO FIXED ADDRESS, which had its world premiere at this year’s Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival before screening in Vancouver’s DOXA Film Festival.
From Toronto to Sydney and from San Francisco to London the cost of housing in cities around the world is skyrocketing. VANCOUVER: NO FIXED ADDRESS takes an uncompromising look at the drama unfolding in one such city, where multi-ethnic citizens fight to preserve homes as living spaces instead of global financial commodities. It is also a story about the very idea of home, what promotes or destroys one’s sense of belonging, and struggling to cope with the strange and often threatening economic and social forces at the start of the 21st century.
Vancouver consistently ranks in the top five cities on Earth to live. It is a city with unparalleled natural beauty, a relatively clean environment, safe streets, stable institutions, and an attitude that prioritizes lifestyle over work. It is paradise for some, but others are forced by high prices to live on the streets, and live in substandard conditions, or struggle to hang on to the homes they have. Wilkinson’s timely documentary looks at our “housing casino” – and those cashing in on the meteoric rise in housing values – from the perspectives of dealers, players, and observers. In other words – it’s a story most of us are involved in.
Director Wilkinson and producers Tina Schliessler and Kevin Eastwood (the team behind Haida Gwaii: On The Edge Of The World, and Oil Sands Karaoke) have assembled a group of residents deeply affected by the housing boom, as well as a number of key influencers in the city including: Mayor Gregor Robertson, Musqueam playwright Quelamia Sparrow, “Condo King” Bob Rennie, journalist Sandy Garossino, Senator Pau Yuen, and scientist/broadcaster/activist David Suzuki.
Vancouver: No Fixed Address examines the common issues at work within the global housing bubble – arguments debated in many cities worldwide experiencing astronomical, often inexplicable increases in real estate values. The documentary delves beneath the headlines and rumours and comes to some unsettling conclusions about home – a place we thought we knew.
“…makes for one of the more ravishing acts of shit disturbance you’re likely to see.” (The Georgia Straight)
“Wilkinson’s film is in chapters…. Each block delivers and sticks to a theme, from outlining the problem to backstory to different choices to following the money, the pillars of this issue are laid out and clearly discussed by those close to the issue.” (The Vancouver Sun)
VANCOUVER: NO FIXED ADDRESS (Charles Wilkinson, 2017 / 75 mins / G) Residents of the “world class city” discuss the stressful reality of its housing troubles.