Watching this film broke my heart. It's so sad, dark and hard. It brings to your attention the importance of local services like Dans La Rue because without them, these kids won't even have that lifeline, that connection to any sense of real hope for a better life that has to be there. It's imperative because there's already a feeling of there being no way out for these guys, within themselves, and one can only wish that what that feeling is, is nothing more than something temporary.
I'm sure that most people just don't care about people living like this, and those who do are very few and all that's there as a means to help is to spread awareness of this crisis in our city. This documentary is about Montreal street sex trade workers. It's about young men who will do whatever they can to make the money they need to feed their drug habit. The main drug all of these guys are using is crack. Every other drug that's mentioned seems like nothing but a drop in a bucket compared to crack and the grip it takes on these kids. I say kids because all of the interviewees are between 19 and 25 years old, save for one who seems to be in his late thirties.
What affected me the most was how I saw something so familiar in these kids. I'm from Montreal and I understand their language and I understand the place in which they're living. It's like I can just walk out of my house and a few metro stations away, I can cross into their world and not even know it. The same streets they're working are the same streets I'd traverse on my way to and from a bar on a night out with friends. The difference between myself and the people I'd be out on the town with, is that I'm not afraid to open my eyes and look around at the people out there. I look around and wonder how many of them are looking back at me, but through a different lens. Like I'm on one side of an invisible line and they're on the other side, but I can reach out and touch them. All that's separating me and them are our backgrounds, upbringing, and life choices.
The very last scene in this documentary shattered me. It was the most honest, revealing and depressing thing I've heard in such a long time. But what really got me was how he sat there and just laid it all out there for us to hear. He spoke about his life with such clarity, I wonder if he took stock of how strong he really is. How being able to describe everything without breaking down right then and there, showed that he has it all in the palm of his hand, he just doesn't know how to throw it away.
Maybe that's how an outsider with a compassionate eye sees it, how someone who has grown up and been in contact with people and their drug problems and bad choices, and has taken their experiences as a lesson for myself. But to be in that man's shoes is a totally different thing. I'm sitting here writing about what I felt after watching them tell their stories, but they aren't writing about it. They're living it.