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"The Wire" trained its loyal viewers to think and have an attention span, unlike most tv shows ( unfortunately).
This dvd, which gives background on the real life inspiration for one of the main characters, is likely to appeal to " Wire" completists for that reason- we want details! You'll spend the whole time you're watching trying to figure out how much of what you see and hear is true, and how much of it David Simon and company worked into the show and in what form.

The production values aren't great, the reeneactments are cheesy, and the narrator's tone veers from decrying to admiring violence and criminality. And Wood Harris's role seems to be just to show amusement at Barksdale's tales of crime- at one point he laughs heartily when Barksdale declines to answer a questions by saying there is no statute of limitations on murder. There are definitely mixed messages in this work.

As a stand alone work, I give it barely 3 stars, a " Wire" devotee may get 4 stars worth of enjoyment out of this.
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on August 26, 2010
If you're a fan of The Wire series then you'll enjoy the DVD. Bottom line. Point blank. I'm not going to speak on the aesthetics of the production because that's not what one would buy the DVD for. But if you're a fan of The Wire then you'd enjoy the DVD.
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on January 12, 2013
Yes this is really enjoyable if you have watched The Wire. It is low budget but still very watchable and enjoyable. There are reenactments of events that happened to Avon and these keep the action moving in what is basically a documentary. You will learn a lot of new things. The interview with Avon's mother is priceless. It is obvious that the characters in The Wire were based on the real life people like Avon and Bunk who are interviewed in this video. If you love The Wire, this will allow you to make the real life connection.
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on August 11, 2010
Perhaps I should have read the description a little closer, but I honestly expected a short dramatic film starring Wood Harris about the origins of the Barksdale character. Instead, the DVD is a brief biopic on the inspiration behind the Avon Barksdale character, a Baltimore criminal named Nathaniel Avon (aka "Bodie") Barksdale. While very interesting, the whole thing smacks of low-fi. The music sounds home recorded, the narration tries a little too hard to be authentic & "street-real", and the dramatization scenes are poorly shot & poorly acted. I have to say, though, that the subject matter makes it watchable, because the real Barksdale is a very fascinating character. It's almost a shame that they didn't mix a little more truth into the show. All in all I was satisfied with my purchase, but I'm not looking forward to more Legends of the Un-Wired productions
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on January 8, 2010
If you thought Avon Barksdale from HBO's The Wire was bad, you haven't heard about the real life person the story is based on.

this is a documentary hosted by the actor who played Avon in the show (Wood Harris) as he interviews the real life Avon Barksdale as they walk through Baltimore's ghettos where the show was shot as well as other locations where you see just how real the show really was.

I had a chance to preview this, and i must admit it is excellent. one of the best documentaries on the topic all together and an absolute must watch for fans of The Wire.

more info:
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trailer:
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on May 2, 2015
I did watch this video of the character that is played in The Wire. I was impressed with the difficult reality that he, his mother and life in that city are portrayed to be. I have heard one short interview with a Barksdale in the events after the Freddie Gray killing. I think this, and that series, have helped America understand the grittiness of many lives inn Baltimore.
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on September 6, 2014
An awful documentary shot on a budget most would blow in one weekend of drinking. The director never asks any probing questions, basically he just applauds Avon like a lap dog. I got this as an aficionado of The Wire but stopped it before the end. Needed to retain the extra brain cells.
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on July 4, 2013
This is a huge disappointment. I bought this for my husband because he loved The Wire. Big mistake. This is the worst video ever made- so bad he thought is was a joke. Well the joke's on me for having paid money for this poorly made video that is clearly just trying to capitalize off the success of The Wire. Do not buy this video..... It's not worth it. I'll happily send you our copy!
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on November 6, 2013
This is a 70 minute self described docudrama on the real Avon Barksdale. The drama aspect left something to be desired. As a thug, he was unimpressive in the story. What I liked about the tale was that it took place in Baltimore, a city that I frequented during this time period. The narrator/writer attempted to give people a contrast of the Inner Harbor tourist area with the projects, however during this era that Inner Harbor area didn't exist. Camden Yards didn't exist. This was an 80's development.

The film is certainly inspirational to handicapped children who aspire to be drug dealers. The real truth is that Avon is most famous for being shot in the head three times and surviving to tell about it.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity. Strippers who don't strip.
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on January 5, 2013
I purchased this because I was curious about the character in "The Wire." I passed it on to a sociology professor friend because it is enlightening as to the mind-set of a segment of the criminal population.
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