Crips and Bloods: Made in America | Chicago Reader

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Having profiled skateboarders in Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) and surfers in Riding Giants (2004), filmmaker Stacy Peralta turns his attention to another southern California subculture with this jittery chronicle of the warring LA gangs. One admires its reach: Peralta begins with the Watts riots in 1965, interviewing a trio of former activists who remember the fires, and notes that the FBI's persecution of the Black Panthers created a power vacuum in LA that was filled by younger, less political hell-raisers. The chronology breaks down after a quick visit to the grave of Raymond Washington, who founded the Crips in the late 60s, and Peralta bypasses four decades of gang history, turning the narrative over to an assortment of contemporary Crips and Bloods. They paint a grimly compelling picture of life on the streets, but the movie's focus narrows regrettably. 105 min.

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