David Pajo (Slint) and Cat Power soundtrack “Skateboarding in Pine Ridge”

“Skateboarding saves lives.”

This poignant line is pulled from a new short documentary produced by Levis about the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. The eighth largest reservation in the United States, Pine Ridge is generally reported as a community riddled with drug and alcohol problems. The teen suicide rate within the community sits at a devastating seven to ten times greater than the national average.

In 2011,  The Stronghold Society began construction of the first skate park on the reservation began in an effort to engage the new generation of young people living there. That park opened this year with construction of another in a neighbouring community began soon after. Directed by Greg Hunt and featuring commentary from one of the project’s benefactors Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, the 17 minute short documentary follows skateboarder and suicide prevention worker Brian “Bubba” Sherman, who lives and works on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The power of music as a storytelling device is fully recognised throughout the documentary and the soundtrack works near perfectly with the narrative. Scored by David Pajo (Slint, Interpol) the film also features a new song from Cat Power called Anthem. You can watch the film to hear the song below.

Skateboarding in Pine Ridge – Levi’s Skateboarding from Farm League on Vimeo.