G-Dog tells the entertaining, hilarious and unlikely story of how a white Jesuit priest became an expert in gang lives and transformed the lives of thousands of Latino, Asian, and African American gang members.
I am so proud of this movie! It is professionally done in all circumstances. The sound in the beginning is not very clear (speaker shd have had lapel mic on). Otherwise, the production/film quality/editing is Oscar worthy.
But what is even more worthy of your time and emotional energy is the miracle of this incredible organization. I just learned about it 4 months ago and visited it about 2 weeks ago. I met 3 different homies, one who had been out of Pelican for a little over a year and had been in solitary confinement for six out of 7.5 yrs there....his dad was his life until the dad died when the homie was 8 years old. His dad was a professional wrestler who was having "father-son" play time wrestling together when the homie was 8 and the father had a stroke and died on top of the son on the floor. The son thought the father was playing dead, but then when the dad didn't wake up, he didn't know what to do and how to get help or grasp the seriousness of the situation....the 8 year old son ended up spending 36 hours physically on top of his dead dad unable to comprehend/accept that his dad had died while playing w his son....2 weeks later, the homie got a tattoo in his mouth and began acting out behaviorally. W/i 2 years, he dropped out of school in the 5th grade. When I met w hiim on Jan 3, 2013, he told me he "took care of the VIPs" at Homeboy and couldn't be prouder. He had gotten his GED, married and had a baby girl -- Greg performed the religious sacraments of marriage and baptism.
He and the other 2 guys I met w had so much pride in who they were at the time and who they had become. It was very humbling. Originally, I felt a little scared to be w someone who had been in solitary confinement for armed robbery. But then I listened to him and opened my heart/mind, eventually asking that I may pray for him, which I did.
Please, please, please support Homeboy Industries. It is in Los Angeles. I live in the Silicon Valley, but Homeboy is my #1 priority for contributions.
Many parts of this film had me welling up in tears. The very humanity of Fr. Greg, his unconditional love, the lack of clammy, pious gibberish, and the total Christ-like, non-judmental embracing of each and every one who came before him. He has tough love, but there is no mistaking, there is always love. He helps everyone know they are sacred, and there is hope for and within them. No one is ever tossed off. The work he accomplished is amazing. The frustration is to see that it almost collapsed because it didn't have adequate funding. Yet, it was obviously effective. It does not take genius to see the enormous funds pitched down all kinds of programs that are not successful, yet remain funded. It's the same thing that happens in educational experiments all over the country. Fr. Greg, for me a living saint, stirred me, inspired me, filled me with awe and the filling resulted in the spilling of tears. It was the overwhelming sense of "Yes, yes, this is totally what it should be all about - what Church, Christian community should be all about - connecting, relating, embracing - and helping all know that there are always new beginnings." This is a movie that needs to be seen by lots and lots of people, especially those who are overwhelmed by the problems and have given up - thrown up their hands. This movie shows that true caring and investment in people can and does bear fruit. I cannot recommend this film highly enough. This is faith lived out.
I am a HUGE fan of Father Greg's and have bought numerous copies of his book, TATTOOS ON THE HEART, to give away, so buying this documentary was a given. Because of the format, there isn't enough time to tell all the amazing stories that Father Greg shares in his book. However- that is of no matter b/c the film is still able to convey how amazing this man and the people he works with- clients & co-workers- truly are and gives as much of a hint as it possibly can of the ASTOUNDING impact this ministry has had on people's lives. This movie should be required viewing for anyone going into social work and especially anyone interested in social entrepreneuring. Praise the Lord for Father Greg and all with whom he works for answering the call they've been given! And Praise the Lord for the makers of this documentary for showing truly how one person person CAN make a difference but a community of people can make change!!!
I really enjoyed this video especially after reading "Father G and the Homeboys" and "Tattoos on the Heart". I have been doing similar things with the teens I work with and it was a great encouragement to see some of the faces that are talked about in the books. I would love to do what I do on a larger scale the way G does. I would actually love to go out to L.A. to see it first hand. Thanks for this video! There's also another documentary I would like to see called "Father G and the Homeboys".
If you love seeing people succeed and you love seeing them treated as a whole person...meaning, G & his staff offer multiple services to help the people they work with become well-rounded and deal with things that are really important, then you will like this video. Hopefully you will be inspired to invest in others as well.
If you are searching for more of the magic found in Boyle's book, this is only partially the place for it. I think it is intuitively valuable to see how a person walks and talks which communicates the truth of that person. In that sense there is value in this film. But it raises the suspicions that Richard Sennett had about the liberals of Boston finding specific marginal groups more worthy of victim status than others. And, in practical terms, this film desperately needs editing. If you are thinking of a film for a social justice group to base a meeting around, I would not recommend it. If you are trying to get a hold of Boyle's challenge of unconditional love, stick with the book and save your hard earned money.