A Bullet Pulling Thread


Can quilting change the world? In January 2020, the RCMP killed homeless rights activist Barry Shantz at his home in Lytton, B.C. during a mental health crisis. That morning, his partner called 911 for help. What they got was an army of police officers, but not a single mental health worker. In response to this tragedy, his sister Marilyn Farquhar creates a series of art quilts titled Kairos to process her grief and share her story.

A Bullet Pulling Thread is a documentary that follows Marilyn’s artistic journey and tells the story of Barry’s extraordinary life.

Although they grew up together in small-town Ontario, Marilyn and her brother were very different. Marilyn had a peaceful, safe life as an award-winning quilter. Contrastingly, her brother Barry was a fearless advocate for the homeless, a former drug smuggler, an ex-con and finally a victim of police violence. One bullet brought their paths together.

Now, Marilyn, equipped with her quilting and Barry’s legacy, is on a quest to share her quilts, spark conversation about mental health, and motivate change in policing. Marilyn also tries to discover why the police replied to her brother’s cry for help with fatal force. In doing so, she runs up against administrations that refuse to admit culpability or take responsibility. But as she discovers, grief is a question with no easy answers. Kairos is a Greek word which means ‘an opportune time for action’ and for Marilyn, that time is now.

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