South Los Angeles is home to two of America's most infamous African-American gangs: the Crips and the Bloods. On these streets over the past 30 years, more than 15,000 people have been murdered in an ongoing cycle of gang violence that continues unabated. In MADE IN AMERICA, renowned documentarian Stacy Peralta blends gripping archival footage and photos with in-depth interviews of current and former gang members, historians, and experts, documenting the emergence of the Bloods and the Crips, but also offering insight as to how this ongoing tragedy might be resolved.
Rival L.A. gangs the Crips and Bloods have permeated deep into American pop culture including film, television, and music epitomizing wanton violence and hopelessness. Regardless of how gritty gang life is portrayed in entertainment, nothing can compare to the disturbing and frightening reality of life in South Central Los Angeles. Stacy Peralta's (Dogtown and Z-Boys, Riding Giants) chilling documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America is a peek into their world, setting out to uncover why the rivalry was created and continues. It begins with a history lesson of the area and how racism, segregation, constant police monitoring, unemployment, broken homes, and civil unrest (e.g., the Watts riots) sowed the seeds of animosity, tension, and violence. The younger generation in the 1970s gravitated towards gang life seeking acceptance, identity, community, and protection. But as the gangs grew larger they became more territorial. Guns were eventually introduced, then drugs, leading to the 30-year war that has claimed the lives of over 15,000 people, just miles away from Beverly Hills. Combining archival footage and loads of candid interviews from existing and former members, Crips and Bloods is a gripping and honest telling of a horrible situation. --Rob Bracco