The Crips and the Bloods are probably the most infamous of all street gangs that have ever existed in America. There have been countless accounts of criminal acts that members of these two groups have done, a couple films that have been made based on them and they are both still very much active almost 40 years after both came into formation. But with everything that you've heard or seen about them, rarely do you ever get to hear the story from the mouths of the very people who found these two gangs, or were/are members.
Stacy Peralta's Crips and Bloods: Made in America is a documentary that uses a first person look into the history of these two gangs. While the film doesn't try to condone some of the terrible act that either of these groups have committed, it does try to make those unfamiliar with the conditions most of these people have gone through or have to live through understand what would make a lifestyle such as these appealing.
There is a lot of footage, photographs and interviews with African Americans who lived in California during the 1950's and 60's. During this time, they had become the target of police brutality simply because they weren't allowed to venture into wealthier neighborhoods and other similar bigotry driven thinking of this time period. So with years of being pushed and held back, all of this frustration gave birth to gangs like the Crips and the Bloods.
Probably will sound weird saying this, but it's a shame that these gangs had the potential to do good for the communities they were formed in, but they shifted into robbery, violence and even murder. And instead of working together, they began a huge rivalry against each other. The film only skims the surface of the negative aspects to these gangs, which I guess was a decision made by Peralta since he probably only wanted to show why gangs like these get formed in the first place.
Crips and Bloods: Made in America is a very intriguing documentary, and a great look into the darker history of 20th century America. It was very informative, and extremely emotional (especially with scenes that show family members and friends who have lost someone close due to the violence that these gangs are capable of). It probably will not change your opinion on the criminal acts these gangs have committed, but it should show you that there is so much more to this story than you probably knew.