Film Of The Week: Highway Gospel

 Highway Gospel, is an entertaining look into the downhill skateboarding scene.

Directors Jaret Belliveau and Craig Jackson introduce us to two central characters in their film. One is a group of longboarders, many of them advanced in age, from Kimberley, B.C. Among them is Jody Wilcock, the DIY deck builder behind the lowered longboard designs that rival brands have aped. He and his friends, when not engaging in eminently entertaining exchanges, race down hills at high speeds, drink beer, smoke weed and, most importantly, manage not to give much of a shit about anything but skating. 


 The film also focuses on 48 year old Claude Regnier, a former slalom champion, At Claudes ripe old age – he wants one more shot at a world championship, which means travelling to Sweden, a goal his second wife (skating ended his first marriage) reluctantly endorses, and his other issue – he’s got a heart condition that may steal skating from him altogether. A heart wrenching moment in the movie.  


 The B.C. boys travel to contests, too, and we witness what was at one time a fringe element of a marginal sport gain mainstream traction. Belliveau and Jackson succeed in capturing many good times among bros, which are pretty fun to watch, even if the guy who calls out the races, a hanger-on in a purple pimp suit, is among the most grating human beings I have ever seen. And though you wouldn’t want to live vicariously through Regnier, the directors paint his life in a sympathetic, at times moving, light. 

A ridiculously entertaining movie whether you’re into downhill skateboarding or not, see the sport as raw as it comes. Watch the full film now on Garage.