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Few filmmakers have dared to get behind the headlines to confront the human reality and complexity of street gangs in urban America. Challenging stereotypes, this documentary gives voice to the street youth and reveals their underground culture. It weaves an intricate web of symbols and passions, territory and brotherhood, honor and-all too often-death.
Images of street bravado are counterpointed with scenes inside laundromats where gang members fold clothes and play with babies. A former leader of a female gang talks about her dreams for her two young daughters. The violent death and funeral of a Guatemalan street youth stir up deep feelings and haunting questions about both the vulnerability and the heroic ethic of gang life. The film is based on the field research of ethnographer Dwight Conquergood's, ethnographer, who co-produced and co-directed.
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