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Directed by Damon Vignale

Vancouver 2012 93 mins.

In 2006, Pamela Masik began to paint massive, gruesome portraits based on a police poster of 69 missing women—many of them Aboriginal—from the streets of Vancouver. Twenty-six of her subjects were murdered on Robert Pickton’s farm. She wanted the paintings to bear witness to the crimes and accuse a systemically racist and sexist society that minimizes violence against women. Instead, activist groups are outraged, accusing her of exploiting women’s suffering to further her career. The film follows Masik as, with an energy that is often disturbing in its own way to watch, she works to finish the paintings. Interviews with families and friends of the women, outreach workers, Memorial March Committee members, journalists, former police officers, former sex workers, and activists provide both support for and criticism of her work and motives. “Shown within the context of the Pickton inquiry, including heartbreaking footage of some of the young women when they were alive, the film raises important contemporary debates about race, privilege, art, and responsibility.”—Hot Docs Festival.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.