ISLAND OF SHADOWS
Island of Shadows (50 min.)
Winner – Gemini Award and 3 Leo Awards
Produced, Written, and Directed by Erik Paulsson for CTV and Vision TV
Few people know of British Columbia’s forgotten leper colony. Between 1891 and 1924, D’Arcy Island in the Georgia Strait, was prison to a handful of men and one woman who were banished there to die. There were never more than nine people exiled at any given time, and once a single man was left alone for fifteen months. Though the disease is crippling in its later stages, no one was left on the island to provide care. Their only contact with the outside world was a supply ship that came every three months to drop off food, opium and coffins. Medical officers of the time reported that conditions on the island were deplorable, yet for years nothing was done. Why? They had leprosy, they were Chinese and no government would take responsibility.