MADE IN AMERICA: CRIPS AND BLOODS (90')
DIRECTED BY STACY PERALTA
?The first major nonfiction film to term the
decades-long gang strife in South Central Los Angeles as
a war on the scale of Kosovo, Mogadishu or Northern
Ireland, Stacy Peralta's bracing "Made in America"
grimly examines the causes and nature of the area's
- Robert Koehler
Directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker
Stacy Peralta (Dogtown Z-Boys - 2001, Riding Giants -
2004) and combining unprecedented access into the world
of active gangs, the film offers a compelling,
character-driven documentary narrative which chronicles
the four decades-long cycle of destruction and despair
that defines modern gang culture. The film traces the
origins of a bloody, long feud and the social and
political circumstances that give rise to the shocking
war-zone reality of gang warfare and civil uprisings.
Executive Produced by Quincy Jones, NBA star Baron Davis
and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Stephen Luczo, the film
tells the story of the genesis of LA?s gang culture to
the shocking reality of daily life in South L.A.
Contemporary and former gang members offer their
street-level testimony that provides the film with a
stark portrait of modern-day gang life: the turf wars
and territorialism, the inter-gang hierarchy and family
structure, the rules of behavior, the culture of guns,
death and dishonor.
Throughout the film ex-gang members, gang intervention
experts, writers, activists and academics analyze many
of the elements that contribute to this malaise?
elements that can be found in big cities all over the
world. Wherever there is a systematic erosion of
identity through political, economic and social means,
it fuels the self-perpetuating legacy of a minority?s
self-hatred and violence turned inward. Add to this the
combustible ingredients that are the disappearance of
the African-American father in these families and an
almost pervasive prison culture in which one out of
every four black men in the US will be imprisoned at
some point in his life, and you have the makings of
troubled youth becoming hard core gang-bangers. In one
of the most poignant sequences of the film, mothers who
have lost their sons to gang related violence speak of
their inability to save their children in what is very
much an active war zone, by any definition.
We hear from current gang members themselves articulate
their enduring dream of a better life. They provide the
film with its ultimate statement: a message of hope and
a cautionary tale of redemption aimed at saving the
lives of a new generation of kids, not just in South LA
but anywhere in the world that gang violence exists.