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Genre: Drama

Duration: 73 Minutes

Rating: NR

A Bullet Pulling Thread

Roundtable discussion with Marilyn Farquhar and other community guests to be announced! Marilyn’s quilts will also be displayed in our Art Lounge.

In January 2020, the RCMP killed homelessness 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, including snipers, but not a single mental health worker. In response to this tragedy, his sister Marilyn creates a series of art quilts called Kairos – a Greek word which means ‘an opportune time for action’.

A Bullet Pulling Thread is a documentary that follows Marilyn’s journey through grief and tells the story of her brother’s extraordinary life. Although they grew up together in small-town Ontario, Marilyn and her brother were very different. Marilyn had a calm, peaceful, safe life as an award-winning quilter. It was nice. Her brother Barry was a fearless advocate for the homeless, a former drug smuggler, ex-con and finally a victim of police violence. One bullet brought their paths together. Marilyn began her Kairos quilts as a way to process her grief. She also believes they could be important tools to spark conversations about mental health and to motivate change in policing.

While carrying on this artistic mission, Marilyn also tries to discover why 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. In the summer of 2021, Marilyn packed up her quilts and drove across the country to exhibit them in Abbotsford. Her aim is to confront law enforcement with her pain and share her experiences with those who knew her brother. And as she discovers, grief is a question with no easy answers.

Marilyn Farquhar

Marilyn Farquhar is a modern and contemporary quilter from Coboconk, Ontario renowned for her floral pattern-work. Farquhar’s reputation as an imaginative, adventurous and gifted artist is known nationally and internationally. She has recent awards behind her name and an opportunity to encourage other quilters as the sole Canadian in a 12-member “inspiration squad” for Handi Quilter, a leader in the high-tech machine quilting market. In January 2020, the RCMP killed her brother Barry Shantz in Abbotsford B.C. during a mental health crisis. One year later, Marilyn began an ambitious series of quilts as a way to process her grief. This series titled, Kairos: An Opportune Time For Action has since been exhibited at the Houston International Quilt Festival, The Reach Gallery & Museum, and Quilt Conventions across North America. 

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