August 12, 2009

Crips and Bloods - Made In America







Crips And Bloods - Made In America is a documentary film from Stacy Peralta, the director of Dogtown & Z Boys and Riding Giants. It is presented by Terrence Howard and narrated by Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker. This award winning film is featured by PBS' Independent Lens and was first featured at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and since than has garnered acclaim for its truthful depiction of the of gang members in South Central Los Angeles.


From the genesis of LA’s gang culture to the shocking, war-zone reality of daily life in the South L.A., the film chronicles the rise of the Crips and Bloods, tracing the origins of their bloody four-decades long feud. Contemporary and former gang members offer their street-level testimony that provides the film with a stark portrait of modern-day gang life: the turf wars and territorialism, the inter-gang hierarchy and family structure, the rules of behavior, the culture of guns, death and dishonor.

Throughout the film ex-gang members, gang intervention experts, writers, activists and academics analyze many of the issues that contribute to South LA’s malaise: the erosion of identity that fuels the self-perpetuating legacy of black self-hatred, the disappearance of the African-American father and an almost pervasive prison culture in which today one out of every four black men will be imprisoned at some point in his life.

Finally the gang members themselves articulate their enduring dream of a better life. They provide CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA with its ultimate statement: a message of hope and a cautionary tale of redemption aimed at saving the lives of a new generation of kids, not just in South LA but anywhere in the world that gang violence exists. (Source)

My thoughts on the documentary:

I am thankful this documentary was made. Their have been numerous attempts by film artists to dissect the phenomenon of the Crips and Bloods. They wanted to contextualize the deaths of young black men, warfare brought on by political agendas, racism, poverty, and the refusal of people inside and out of the community to understand the gravity of denying a man and woman the identity of a human being. This film is unapologetic, it cuts deeply at the fabric of racism that has been wound tightly around these communities in Los Angeles and exposing the advertent dismissal of African American life in order that whites can maintain a rift of separate and unequal. America has proclaimed for decades that it is a melting pot, where all have equal opportunity and all can partake in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, untrue. Actions have spoken for America and the divide still exist today.

The people living and breathing everyday in these communities have been given the utensils of their own demise - drugs, alcohol, guns, poor quality food, hate, bitterness and hopelessness. These utensils have been nurtured over many decades and now it has been let loose. I would be bitter too, not because I am black but because I am a human being, and denying me my existence would kill something in me everyday. How can such wealth be amassed in this region and yet have such poverty, it is not only of the physical but the mind. We need to let the world know that this war is just as damaging as any other conflict seen in war torn regions of the world.

The only thing that has been guaranteed by the government is more prisons, less access to educational programs for inner city children and the demand on parents to continue to make 'ends meet' in an economy that has allowed pockets of failure to persist within our communities.

To learn more visit the offical website here. I have added a few parts of the documentary, tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment or an e mail.

1 comment:

Ms. Beans said...

I am interesting in watching this documentary; its seems to not be glorifying that lifestyle, but an in depth look into the environment, home, and mind of these individuals. Better than some documentaries I have seen about gangs.