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Crips and Bloods: Made in America


Mesmerizingly portrayed with vintage photos and film footage, Crips and Bloods: Made in America opens with a raw look at the violence and unrest that exploded in central Los Angeles during and after the five-day-long 1965 Watts riots. What starts as an insider's look at the social vacuums filled by gangs in L.A. becomes a wide-angle sociological exploration of poverty and violence in inner city black neighborhoods. Rough and discriminatory handling by the LAPD and prejudicial real estate practices didn't let up following Watts. As deteriorating black neighborhoods came to be dominated by churches, liquor stores and pawn shops, gangs like the Crips and Bloods assumed control of the streets. Asked about the morality of a community in which a boy gets his first gun at the age of 10 or 12, one gang member says with a mix of bravado and despair, "There's no place in this world for soft motherf****rs. Soft motherf****rs don't eat." Conditions worsened and crack cocaine didn't even arrive until the early 1980s. It's amazing this film finds hope, but it does. Former New Orleans Hornet Baron Davis is one of the film's producers, and he can be proud of its fascinating and unflinching look at communities and people desperate for change. It screens in the Patois New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. — Will Coviello

7 p.m. Sun., March 29

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858;

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