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.
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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
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
Matthew, AKA Sugarbear
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
Vince, AKA Double Tap
Dylan. He’s 21.
Brendan, AKA Gebus
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
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