Two years ago, my friends from the band The Damn Truth released their second album: Devilish Folk. The song that’s also titled “Devilish Folk” jumped out to my ears. And to my heart.

The words from the chorus – There’s no room for people like you and me here – reminded me of all the people I had met, struggling to survive in the streets of Montreal, while the rest of us seemed to turn a blind eye to their reality.

So with my camera, I set out to meet a group of “squeegee kids” – the street punks who wash windshields for change at the red light. They are an iconic subculture group in Montreal, and I’d always been curious about these characters. Without asking for anything in return, two young men, Brendan and Jake welcomed me with open arms into their world.

When I embarked on this project, I thought it’d take me a couple months to complete. Turns out it took close to two years. For it to genuinely reflect who these guys are, I had to dive deep into their lives; something only time made possible. And as the months passed, this film became much more than a music video; it’s a raw and unadorned immersion into the reality of my friends, the Devilish Folk.

More info: mikaeltheimer.com

Devilish Folk. The story of Brendan and Jake, squeegee punks in Montreal

Brendan and Jake at work

Brendan and Jake, riding the subway home after a long day on the streets

Jake, in the kitchen of the basement apartment they share with a few friends.

Hanging out with friends at the corner of two major streets in Montreal

Steph at work

Cigarette break

Vince, AKA Double Tap, shows off his one piece

Jake, a couple days after he got in a fight with Vince

Showing off some skills in the metro station

The street family

End of the day, Brendan and Jake are counting the change they made

Vince and Brendan. Working under the snow.

Vince and Brendan, playing dice at the street corner

Pierre-Luc, AKA Khaos, and Brendan, AKA Gebus

Khaos

Matthew, AKA Sugarbear

Dylan

More than friends, these guys are family to each others

Brendan and Vince are about to wake Dylan up

Vince and Brendan at work

An office with a view

Marie-Jeanne

Vince, AKA Double Tap

Dylan. He’s 21.

Family

Brendan, AKA Gebus

Preston

Bern, and Marie-Jeanne’s legs

The one and only Bern

Preston is taking a little break from squeegeeing

Vince passed out. When you’re homeless, you sleep pretty much anytime anywhere.

I asked Marie-Jeanne if there’s something she wished people knew about here. She wrote “I miss my daughter”

Sevarina and Brendan found true love in each other

Chilling under the sun

Squeegee trick to discretely drink a beer in the street

Sevarina and Brendan. She has a home, a job, and she’s a university student. With her, Brendan found the strength to turn his life around.

Preston, Jason and Vince are watching a boxing match on YouTube

Lovebirds

Street pillow