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The Exhibition

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.

Genres: Documentary, Northwest Filmmaker