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Crips and Bloods: Made In America - Movie Review - 2008

Crips and Bloods Turf Wars In Los Angeles

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Crips and Bloods: Made In America - Movie Review - 2008

Crips and Bloods: Made in America

The Crips and Bloods are the infamous rival gangs that rule the streets of South Central Los Angeles, marking their turf block by block and battling each other for dominance. Few boys growing up in South Central escape gang membership, and induction to the violent way of life that puts 25 percent of them in jail--if they survive long enough. Director Stacy Peralta gained extraordinary access to gang members and through interviews with them gives us a fascinating insider look at the way they think and behave, of the history of the gangs and how they function.

Far From The American Dream

Peralta uses smart graphics and animation to indicate the physical proximity and wide lifestyle divide between South Central and the City of Angels' richer realms of Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Home base for the gang member home boys is a ghetto of hopelessness, violence and crime. More than 15,000 people have been murdered in gang-related violence in the past 30 years.

Interviews with gang members and expert observers provide information about the history of the gangs, but nobody can quite explain how their intense enmity evolved. Former gang members who've managed to end their involvement and change their lives suggest that there are ways of putting an end to gang rule.

The Crips and Bloods are among America's most pervasive brotherhoods of crime, and they've spread their colors and influence way beyond the borders of South Central Los Angeles to other US cities and abroad.

Stacy Peralta uses Forest Whitaker's narration to weave archival footage and the compelling stories of his characters into a fascinating look at gang life.

Gang rule is a thunderstorm that's looming large on America's horizon. The gangs have, as Peralta points out, already been involved in two of the most violent civil riots in recent US history--both in South Central, 27 years and three miles apart--and, with their extensive global network, there are likely to be more incidents unless gang power is diminished by providing potential recruits with more positive alternative lifestyle choices. Something we need to think about.

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Film Details:

Crips and Bloods: Made In America (2008)

  • Directed by: Stacy Peralta
  • Running Time: 99 min.
  • Release Date: January 23, 2009 (limited theatrical); May 19, 2009 (DVD)
  • Parents Guide: Advisory for content
  • Distributors: Balance Vector Productions (Theatrical), Docurama (DVD)

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