Skip to main content
A Bullet Pulling Thread film image

A Bullet Pulling Thread

+ Violet Gave Willingly

This event has passed

In January 2020, in Lytton, BC, a man named Barry Shantz was shot dead by police, as he intended. The incident raises troubling questions about response protocols (why wasn’t a mental health worker dispatched to a stand-off which lasted several hours, for example?), and about institutional accountability. But Ian Daffern’s film gives us much more than this. It is a compassionate portrait of Barry, an imperfect man, a former drug dealer, who nevertheless turned his life around and became an advocate for fellow prisoners and for the homeless, as related by his sister, Marilyn, whose own life followed a very different path. In response to the tragedy, Marilyn creates a series of art quilts called Kairos – a Greek word which means “an opportune time for action”. A Bullet Pulling Thread opens up several pathways we might usefully follow.

Screening with the short film Violet Gave Willingly (Claire Sanford, 2022, 23 mins)


Jun 11: Q&A with Marilyn Farquhar and Deborah Dumka (Violet Gave Willingly)


By combining the stories of these two siblings and the many lives that Marilyn touches along the way, A Bullet Pulling Thread captures the need to correct the ways in which public bodies, namely law enforcement, deal with issues related to mental health… Daffern addresses related social causes like housing, addiction, and the rights of incarcerated people […] It’s a striking work that conveys her loss, but also the many lives affected by that single shot.

Pat Mullen, POV Magazine


Ian Daffern

Country of Origin







Opening Night Film – Human Rights Film Festival, Toronto;
Human Rights Through Film Selection by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg

73 min

Book Tickets

This event has passed.



Ian Daffern


Marina Dodis, Dennis Porter, Daniel Everitt-Lock, Steve Field, Kyle Sandilands, Tate Young


Gisela Restrepo, Eui Yong Zong

Also Playing

Concrete Poetry + Arthur Erickson's Dyde House

In this program we pair two of the best documentaries about Arthur Erickson: Michelle Smolkin's 2002 profile for the CBC, Concrete Poetry, and Colin Waugh's recent Arthur Erickson's Dyde House, an insightful look at one of his earliest designs.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre

Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray's first film opened eyes in the West. It's a naturalistic portrait of the childhood of a Brahman child, Apu, growing up in a village far from twentieth century technology in West Bengal.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Night of the Hunter

One of the strangest and most beguiling movies you'll ever see, from a poetic, nightmarish novel by Davis Grubb, a fable about two children fleeing from a psychotic evangelical preacher (Robert Mitchum). Charles Laughton's only film as director.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Battle of Algiers

French Colonel Mathieu hunts for Algerian resistance leader Ali la Pointe in Pontecorvo's classic, which draws the battle lines between colonialists and Arab insurrectionists in a pulsating, "fly-on-the-wall" documentary style.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre