THE FIGHTOn this Friday, as every week, approximately one hundred men, women and children gather together in the church of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in a poor area of Montreal. But they are not here for religious reasons; they come together in the chapel’s cellar to watch wrestling matches in an atmosphere that is both electric and almost surreal. One member of the crowd who follows the magic and noise of the spectacle with enormous yet naïve passion is twelve-year-old Jessy. After all, it’s his dream to one day become a wrestler himself and climb into the ring to confront his opponent on the floor, just like his idol, Firestorm.
In this part of Montreal wrestling has become something of a hallowed national sport – the most popular form of leisure activity for a population living in poverty that is also a metaphor for their daily struggle for survival. Jessy for example is trying to cope with the fact that his drug-addicted mother Maryse has just left their family. Jessy’s father Claude is slowly surrendering to his own helplessness; his older brother Sam is a drug dealer and his sister Kelly’s puberty is giving her a hard time. Jessy finds a questionable sense of security in his friendship with Jacques, a low-life and a freethinker who lives a bit like a hobo in a nearby park. At the same time, the scales are beginning to fall from the boy’s eyes as far as the truth about Jacques is concerned, his brother’s drug dealing and what has happened to his mother. Things get rough when Sam forces him to act as a drug runner. But Jessy is a fighter. Naturally there must be losers in life so that there can be winners. But, just like in wrestling, it is sometimes possible to escape your destiny.