Original article: Jordan Wells
Documentary By: David Bouthillier
Photography By: Peace Park (Website coming soon)

The first time David Boots saw the iconic movie Kids written by Harmony Korine was at the Mayfair Theatre during his time living in Ottawa in the mid ’90s. The movie he saw that day gave the world its first real view into New York youth culture in 1995.

It was the impressionable scene at Washington Square Park as the camera pans the crew greeting each other sitting on the fountain. We are introduced to the many up and coming skaters of New York who teach us how beef can escalate in their park, then how they settle it as a pack of skate rats swarming their intimidator together. It was in this scene’s impact that David saw the importance of telling his story of the park that he came of age in to bring forward a realistic view of what Montreal skateboarders face at Place de la Paix.

The Peace Park documentary advocates by telling the story of the park as a microcosm that directly reflects the societal impacts that Montreal has faced in its historical changes through its social classes and hierarchies. From the lifers, dealers and the neighbouring businesses that have held the heritage of the Main, the viewer is shown the graphic realities of a street person inhabiting the park while juxtaposed with the outside perspective of encroaching business owners and city officials that mediate the climate of the park. David narrates the documentary while showing excerpts of his interviews with the street people that make up the family of Peace Park. This family is the people that are consistently at the park who look out for each other and cooperate with the skateboarders.

Helped made possible from the support of Peace Park neighbor La Société des Arts Technologiques, the documentary received two grants to aide its completion. The evolution of David’s goal as a skateboarder with his documentary is evident as the larger story is uncovered. The moral is clearly stated by each of the interviewed; public space is not about regulation and discouragement, it is about tolerance for what you don’t understand and the social classes that won’t disappear.

– Dig Deep

David is currently traveling Mexico with his documentary until April 26th. Sending support and best wishes to your safe travels.