Early in the film one of the patients says to the pharmacist “you seem to watch the same show everyday.” That line encompasses the entirety of the film for me. Familiar faces greet the pharmacist everyday and take something from her as she tries her hardest to maintain composition. Some are courteous while others are more willing to attempt to drain her of whatever they can. The people she is surrounded by are broken and at this point seem to exist merely to be helped (kind of bleak.) That brings up a separate question of whether or not the motions they go through are of any help to begin with. EAST HASTINGS PHARMACY felt like a type of pastoral, or possibly an interior landscape. The clinic is a small space without contrast but rather a variation of similar, ugly, dark, mundane tones which are occasionally illuminated by small bursts of light. I’m not quite sure if it develops in a way that would be worthy of nearly 50 minutes, but it is quite good. For me, the highlight is the intricate sound design. Layers of audio come from every inch of the environment, ranging from a television, to patients inside, to the pharmacists behind the counter, to the street outside. It could actually be the source of hypnosis that keeps your eyes concentrated on the landscape for the amount of time it is exposed. The film draws influence from a number of different sources. From what I can tell it is just as indebted to characters like Frederick Wiseman and Allan King as it is to (possibly) Chantal Akerman and (maybe) Werner Herzog. In that regard, this film exemplifies my understanding of what post-modern cinema is. It bridges gaps between an assortment of inspirations in ways that aren’t commonly connected. Though I didn’t find its pacing necessary in order to absorb what it exuded, I enjoyed it. Plus I’ve walked through Downtown East Side and can say first hand that these are accurate (if not understated) portrayals of its residents. Overall, I’d rate this about 4 out of 5 stars and am interested in seeing what this company of filmmakers produces next.