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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 ›
Buy this dvd and watch this film...
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie on how the powers at be control the population for their own interests...Published 25 days ago by Tim swanson
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 11 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 13 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 13 months ago by T. Curtis