Stacy Peralta was a pioneering skateboarder and later an actor and even later a film producer who went on to connect some of the dots in his sport's history with the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. His latest film about Los Angeles gang culture is called Crips and Bloods: Made in America and made us wonder what someone who invented the frontside flip to fakie can know about gangs in LA. In a Q&A following a recent screening, he admitted that gangs were somewhat peripheral to his high school experience but that gang activity effects everyone with ties to urban Los Angeles. Over the years there have been a few similar documentaries, some better than others, but none as meticulous as Made in America in chronicling the Bloods and Crips in the context of real estate, and how before, and during, the Civil Rights movement blacks were restricted to certain neighborhoods by police. Peralta also spoke on how police have been unsuccessfull in solving the problem of gangs since their inception. But while the film itself offers no direct solution, it may be that awareness, something a majority of the screening audience simply didn't have, is a giant step in the right direction. Crips and Bloods: Made in America is playing at the IFC Center at 323 6th Avenue until Thursday, January 29th and other select cities in the following weeks.
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