Crips and Bloods: Made in America Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 27, 2009
Perhaps the most important functions that a documentary can serve today is to step in when the mainstream media has failed. On issue that the media has most definitely failed in this world of national security, foreign wars, and widespread policy debates are the problems plaguing the inner city. It was indeed refreshing to see a documentary that deals with these issues that people seem to have forgotten about since the early 90s. In principle I find the documentary?s message that the Crips and Bloods emerged because of the way society silenced any mainstream form of black empowerment. Unfortunately there were aspects of execution that held this film back from achieving its full potential. The film starts strong, painting a strong picture of what it was like to be a black man in 60s Las Angeles, then shortly after its vivid depiction of the Watts riots it suddenly flashes forward to the present and begins playing a ton of interviews with gang members. These are interesting interviews, but they are simply played at random and feel like an interruption of the film?s narrative. It feels like they had a lot of good footage that they insisted on shoehorning in. The film eventually recovers, but never regains its momentum. This was a fairly good watch but it could have been a whole lot better.
Super Reviewer
½ May 20, 2009
What starts out as a great doc eventually becomes a potential TV special. The doc starts out strong, explaining the beginnings of gang mentality and how oppression brought about the need for disenfranchised youths to band together. Then sadly, it just breezes over the formation of the Crips and Bloods, and what made them what they are.
Lots of interviews with gang members, some who have left the gangs to start community organizations, but it feels more like a anti-gang promo than a real documentary.
After enjoying fictional shows like The Shield and Southland I am really curious to have a real look at South L.A. Unfortunately I don't think this is it.
May 17, 2013
How can a documentary about two of Americas most notrious street gangs be made and not a single mention of Stanley "Tookie" Williams is uttered? Crips and Bloods: Made in America starts off promising with some insights on how White America is mostly responsible for the creation of gangs but stops giving a history lesson about the time that the two notorious gangs are formed. The second half of the documentary felt more like a recruitment video than and actual in depth view of the hows and whys. Crips and Bloods: Made in America is interesting for the most part but really suffers from a lack of direction and insight.
½ January 18, 2013
It is a well-made and highly informative documentary that offers and excellent big picture understanding of the issue of gangs and race. Director Stacy Peralta presents the information an interesting and more dramatic manner by jumping from the present to the past and then forward again. The narration from Forest Whitaker was bonus. It introduces the issue clearly and then moves on to an excellent historical explanation of gangs, racism, and Los Angeles' cultural climate. It then delves into the mindset and current culture of the hate filled gangs with interviews of current and former gang members. Step by step this film builds an understanding for the situation that makes you reconsider how you view these horribly misguided individuals, not that you fear them any less. It is a about how rampant poverty, drug use, violent surroundings, lack of education, along with the scars of racism has lead to the disintegration of families for the people in these communities. It is the lack of community and family structure that provides stability, love, discipline, and guidance that these people desperately need.
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2009
A pretty well worth documentary that brings social awareness and a history that goes back to the Watts riots and further.
½ July 21, 2014
interesting documentation, some of the history is explained
½ November 9, 2013
Frankly, it's all the white man's fault.
½ November 9, 2012
Stacy Peralta shows that he can do more than just make good skateboarding and surfing documentaries.
½ April 28, 2012
Eye opening and educational.
February 6, 2012
very eye opening on the world around
½ April 29, 2011
An outrageous documentary which doesn't make sense.
April 26, 2011
I'm about to embark on this journey...what color is your flag...
March 25, 2011
Honestly I think the whole "gang" thing is ignorant, but this film really makes you respect the struggles those people had to endure. Im white and it made me hate white people living in that specific place at that specific time.
½ February 5, 2011
If you like to understand the WHY behind things, this documentary does it perfectly. Dirceted by Stacy Peralta (powell-peralta for you old skate heads) and narrated by Forest Whitaker, this film displays the time-line of events and a history of life in So Cal that led to the formation of the Bloods and the Crips. Tons of interviews and personal stories help us outsiders understand their world better. Love every minute of it.
½ January 15, 2011
Makes some out-and-out excuses for gang culture, but it does a very good job tying societal causation to inner city gang problems. Found it very interesting.
½ January 8, 2011
Interesting look at what gang life is, and how they came out of the 60's and 70's.
November 26, 2010
Very Eye Opening And Powerful . I Highly Suggest Everyone To View This Film .
½ November 23, 2010
Very interesting. A must see for the socially conscious.
September 27, 2010
eye opening view on a very intense,hushed topic.
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