A brilliantly talented man destroys his career and family with a cocaine addiction. He joins the population of the streets, homeless and discarded. It takes two decades, but at last he finds recovery and a second chance. Now he has made a brilliant short film telling his story. The title of the film is inspired by a line from Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: "How Can a Warm Man Understand a Cold Man?"
The film is one of the most arresting video documents I have ever seen. I'm not the only one who thinks so. The Toronto Star viewed the film and reports:
The most powerful images in Vac Verikaitis’s short film on his fall from life as globetrotting producer to impoverished resident of a Toronto shelter come in the eyes of passersby.
In several shots, Verikaitis stands on city sidewalks as if invisible to those still a part of its bustle, pleasures and possibility.
In some, he is implicitly eyed with gazes suggesting wariness, or disdain, or the sort of fleeting — if disgusted — curiosity bestowed on a peculiar species of insect.
Very likely, most of us have issued such looks, probably without knowing it.
In his film How Can a Warm Man Understand a Cold Man, Verikaitis’s goal was to convey a sense of what it’s like on the receiving end. The hope-sapping loneliness and soul-straitening isolation of what poverty feels like.
And I'm proud to say that it exists not only because of Vac's cinematic talent, but also in part because of the determination and support of Danielle Crittenden Frum.
Out of the blue, he got a call from Danielle Crittenden, who’d read some of his blog. She invited him to lunch, referred him to a TVO producer and he was commissioned to make his film.
And the most amazing thing about Danielle is that she'll do something like this again on Monday, and then again on Tuesday, and everyday through the week. Congratulations to both Danielle and Vac.