Pierre et Yolande Perrault Award 2016 - RVQC
In Bellechasse County, demolition derbies are commonplace. Patrick Damien may have left to pursue his dreams of making movies, but he will always be “a guy from Armagh.” The village is home to many enthusiasts of the sport, including David Godbout who has been racing on the podium for decades. He is now a mentor to his neighbour Christopher who dreams of crumpling up bodies in the dusty rings like his late father did. His promising debut coincides with the return home of his cousin Marika, a student who is spending her summer preparing for her first derby. As each of them prepares and consolidates their cars, and as the memory of Christopher’s deceased father is revived, scars are revealed. Family Demolition is an intimate, sensitive and touching family portrait.
A word from Tënk
A collective passion is cultivated in the village of Armagh, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, a passion for demolition derbies. The goal is to smash the "reinforced" cars, one against the other, until they are unrecognisable, even unusable.
In this, his first documentary, Patrick Damien returns to his hometown. He turns his gaze towards his childhood friend David Godbout and the members of his greater family who are mechanic and demolition enthusiasts. David’s daughter Marika's growing interest for this singular sport becomes the pretext for this reunion. So the whole gang gathers around the girl to help her perfect her car and prepare for her first competition. Damien films the evolution of his subjects via their deep and authentic reflections and questions. The filmmaker succeeds in transcending prejudices due to his proximity with his subject matter. He lingers upon the intimacy of the family, upon the complicity, respect and love that emanates from it. Ultimately, the characters are caught up in a reality that is larger than life. We are helplessly plunged alongside them into a dramatic momentum more improbable than fiction. From this film whirring with the smell of oil and engine emanates a thread of silence and an infinite sweetness.
Filmmaker, teacher and programmer