Crips and Bloods: Made in America
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I elevated this movie to #1 when Michael Vick was signed by the Eagles. In one week: I heard two accounts from completely different lifestyles: Prissy ESPN sports talk show host Mike Greenberg declared that he had never heard of the subculture known as dog fighting until the Vick case made the news. Vick stated that dog fighting in his childhood neighborhood was so common that police would stop to see a fight and then drive away. Dog fighting was the norm. It was then when I knew I had to check out Peralta's newest movie as I'd loved the Dog Town and Z Boys documentary.
The first 25-30 minutes of the movie covers pre-1970 race riots in LA and other cities. How invisible lines created "hoods" by police who would commonly question straying pedestrians about "why don't you go back to your neighborhood?" Then abruptly, the movie takes a sharp turn when vocal black leaders like MLK, Malcom X and others are thrown in jail or murdered. Suddenly, all the icons were gone. Think of the Living Colour song: Cult of Personality - "When that leader speaks, that leader dies."
For the rest of the movie I was hooked. I couldn't grasp what was happening. The Crips and Bloods seemed to come out of nowhere. Peralta seemed to have skipped something important. But he didn't.Read more ›
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The film traces back through history, detailing the "roots of rage", so to speak, for the black man in Los Angeles. The film is never boring, utilizing archival film clips from the past, interspersed with interviews from past gang members who are incredibly articulate and erudite. Kumasi's barely controlled ire is tempered with measured intelligent speech. I was enthralled.
The only surprise for me was the lack of mention of the influence of rap music vis a vis the gangs, although there is plenty to be had on the soundtrack throughout.
The film is based on interviews with current and former gang members, and a few dedicated and caring activists who see the kids in gangs as human beings who have an inalienable right to a decent, safe and happy life. What struck me was the eloquence of the interviewees as well as the raw pain speaking - the pain of loss, the pain of the child, the pain of the outsider. Pain that needs to be kept under the tough guy facade 'because only the strong survive'. The beauty and heart-shattering grief of women experiencing the loss of their kids, nephews and grandchildren. The raw, human power that is squandered by keeping those young people ghettoed in.
I'd be interested in seeing how the reviewers croaking about "personal responsibility" on these pages felt if they were harassed by the police every time they crossed a certain street (into a neighborhood where they were not 'supposed' to be). If they had been kept away from progress, growth, respect, education, equal opportunity by the lack of access and institutionalized neglect. I find it amazing that the film does not make you sad or make you want to help, but rather compels you to display your own disconnectedness and lack of humaneness.Read more ›
Crips and Bloods: Made in America is Directed by Stacey Peralta and Narrated by Emmy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker. Produced for DVD release by Ducudrama Films in 2009, this unrated documentary is a comprehensive and emotional film that keeps on giving. This film is a historical chronicle on the development of the Crips and Bloods street gangs.
The plot of the movie is to identify the causative factors of gang activity and offers solutions to the problem using history and individuals involved in gang activity. University professors, interventionists, active gang members and community leaders discuss gang life and its impacts on individuals, families and society as a whole during in-depth personal interviews. Historical events are presented in a storytelling format supported by newspaper articles and graphic video footage. The interviews and stories are intermixed throughout the film resulting in a complete work on Crips and Bloods that leaves no topic untouched.
I think that the personal nature of the interviews coupled with the historical backdrop is one of the most interesting features of Crips and Bloods: Made in America.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to understand Los Angeles and how we arrived at the violence so often shown on the news, this film is Essential. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C Forrester
bought it for the history and to understand why the vicious cycle. u may have to watch couple of times to understand why because watching the first time the insanity of it all can... Read morePublished 7 months ago by rickey scott
Incredible story of how the officials in LA forced a community of black Americans into a ghetto and essentially forced them into gang membership and a violent life style.Published 8 months ago by T. Curtis
Great film. Chilling. Excellent resources if you're interested in educating people or helping the cause. Extremely credible and different than other films on gangs.Published 11 months ago by deadboy