from steve james (hoop dreams) comes another story about chicago youth. this one is about a group of crime interventionists who work to stop violence. it follows several of them as they work with chicago youth who are violent or surrounded by violence.
it’s a good documentary to watch at this time because we’re at a crossroads politically. to me, though, the documentary shows the failure of ideologies from both the democrats and republicans. the republicans say that the inner city kids should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. i’d like to see you do that after generations of slavery, disenfranchisement, and a lack of opportunities and role models. the other side says let’s give them food stamps and money and cheap rent. that doesn’t work either. the majority of them stay in the hood and don’t better their situation with the hand out. one girl said she’d take any money she got, buy drugs and then sell them for a profit. the work these (mostly ex-cons) do is inspiring and unfortunately necessary. it’s also sad to see that these are the only people that most of the kids in the inner city will respect. the white woman teacher at one of the magnet schools in the film is basically laughed at when she suggests that the children can talk to her if they have problems at home with violence. they would much rather talk to the eddie, the reformed murderer who is one of the eponymous crime preventers. it’s understandable, but also a sad commentary on ghetto culture or human nature, at least.
these problems aren’t going to get any better anytime soon. we have a lot of dedicated people trying to solve them in a lot of different ways. change has been incremental at best. one guy at a community meeting said that “we need to fix this on our own.” the local mortician expressed dismay “i never thought i’d see a black president and now we have one, but this is still happening.” others pointed out the crumbling infrastructure of the schools.Watched in theater