Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2006
Source: Esquimalt News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Esquimalt News
Author: Andrea Lavigne, Victoria News
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


It's fitting that Eva Wunderman's film about crystal methamphetamine
comes from a town named "Hope." Unlike most of the news reports,
stories and activity relating to Victoria streets, the film doesn't
leave viewers feeling cynical about finding solutions to the drug crisis.

Wunderman's Crystal Fear, Crystal Clear screened last Friday at the
Alix Goolden Hall for the general public and service providers.

Wunderman, who is originally from Sweden, moved to Hope in 1981. When
she was first approached by the principal of Hope's District
Alternative Secondary Program to do a film on crystal meth, she said
she was unaware how prevalent the problem was in her small town.

"The motivation came to do this when I realized how many people were
affected by this drug. Everybody I spoke to had some sort of
experience with it," she said.

Principal Steve Fachler said he first noticed kids using the drug in

In a small town, drug and alcohol use is the weekend recreation, he

The film followed three families from Hope dealing with the effects of
crystal meth: a 21-year-old musician struggling with a five-year meth
addiction; a former meth addict that becomes pregnant and moves in
with her boyfriend; and a young girl who becomes estranged from her
mother after her parents suspect her of using meth.

Wunderman followed her subjects for more than a year, gaining intimate
access to their lives, relationships and addictions.

To their own credit, the film's subjects responded to Wunderman with
complete honesty.

As one parent in the film said: "I can understand why people would
want to keep it hush, hush, but we need some discussion."

Wunderman couldn't have scripted the outcome of her subjects struggle
against meth, but the film ends on a high note for two of the subjects
in her film.

"I'm very grateful the way things turned out," she

In the case of Aaron Webb, viewers are left wondering if he will
manage to break free from the drug he claims to "love." During the
course of filming, Webb went from being a reformed addict who was back
at school and holding down a job, to pawning his stereo to buy meth
after getting fired.

The big surprise for viewers who attended the screening on Friday was
the appearance of Webb. He spoke to the crowd after the film to talk
about his revelation.

"I watched my punk ass on the documentary and got myself off [meth].
After that I didn't touch it again," he said.

Wunderman's documentary first appeared on CBC's Passionate Eye last
October. Her work won her the Individual Achievement Award for
Outstanding Director from the American Women in Radio and Television
at the 31st Gracie Allen Awards in 2006.

Wunderman encourages educators and service providers interested in
screening the film for students or clients to contact her.
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