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We have a tendency to idolize the thug life – kids wearing their snapbacks backwards and calling each other G’s (we all have done this or at the very least have a friend we tolerate when he or she does). But do we ever really stop to think what’s on display here? There are over 400 gangs operating in Los Angeles, and according to the LAPD’s 2013 report: 3,576 gang-related crimes, 1068 shots fired, and 663 victims shot. These numbers, even today, are a sign of REDUCED crime levels. Let that sink in for a second. For comparison, BPD reports that by this time last year there were a total of 97 shootings with victims.

BOYZ N THE HOOD encapsulates the experience of three teenage boys growing up in South Central LA, home of the feud between the illustrious Bloods and Crips gangs. This isn’t another gangster idolizing film – it’s not just sipping forties and mowing down rival gang members. This is a story about pain, about dreaming, and about the circumstances that make those dreams almost impossible to achieve. BOYZ was one of the first movies to really show the general populace what is happening in the hood.

It was also a film of many other firsts. John Singleton, a South Central native, wrote and directed this film, his first film, when he was just 24 years old. BOYZ was released to enormous critical praise, including Academy Awards nominations for Original Screenplay and Best Director – making Singleton the first African American and youngest nominee to date in the latter category. BOYZ featured the first leading film role for Cuba Gooding Jr. and acting debut of N.W.A rapper Ice Cube. BOYZ was one of the first films that made me furious and cry in the same moment.

Two years ago, my favorite snapback was a BOYZ N THE HOOD cap from Urban Renewals in Allston. I lost this hat (if you know where I can get a replacement hit me up), but I will never lose the experience I had seeing this film. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

6/9 – 7PM, $10.25

Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446

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