Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on half-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members... See full summary »
A former gang member is pulled back into his former violent world after a Russian gang vying for control of the local drug trade kills his wife. Taking a solemn pledge to seek vengeance for... See full summary »
Traces over three generations an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies, and triumphs. Maria and Jose, the first generation, come to Los Angeles, meet, marry, face deportation ... See full summary »
Edward James Olmos
Kid brother Chuco (Danny De La Paz) is a sullen low-rider still caught up in the life. Despite their differences, their family bond is strong. But that bond is violently tested when rivals ... See full summary »
Danny De La Paz,
Mousie and Sad Girl are childhood best friends in a contemporary Los Angeles poor Hispanic neighborhood. But when Sad Girl becomes pregnant by Mousie's boyfriend, a drug dealer named ... See full summary »
A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »
Edward James Olmos,
This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen year there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Most of the extras who were dressed as prisoners quit after the first day of filming. They were kept in a gated area next to an open sewer and had to ask guards to use the bathroom. Guards are used to ignoring prisoners, so they mostly ignored extras dressed as prisoners. They weren't given enough water and lunch wasn't served until late in the day. Conditions slightly improved on the second day, but on the third and final day of filming at Folsom Prison there were about 25 of the 200 that showed up on the first day. See more »
When the Mexican inmates are walking up with the mop and bucket to assassinate the African-American inmate, it shows the African-American inmate laying in just a t-shirt on his bed and in the next scene after hes caught on fire he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »
Excellent directorial debut from Edward James Olmos.
American Me (1992) was the directing debut of long time character actor Edward James Olmos. This film is a historical fiction depiction of the rise of La Emme, The Mexican Mafia. The movie follows the lives of three street gang members who by a sad twist of fate end up in Juvenille Hall. From there they graduate to the big time. Folsom Prison. Inside the walls of Folsom, the three form the most powerful gang inside the California Penal System.
Olmos turns the story into a Shakespherian tragedy. A story about a dangerous cycle that repeats over and over within certain communities and how the lack of education can be dangerous. Like they say, an idle mind is the devil's playground. Many of these characters had too much "idle time" before they hit rock bottom. Olmos' direction, editing and use of lighting is that of a long time film-maker. The cinematography complements his directorial style. He makes these figures into noble persons who live and die by a code forged from blood, shanks and sweat. Great stuff from Mr. Olmos, a true masterpiece from a first time director.
Sadly, Mr. Olmos has took a lot of flack for this film and has made some powerful people very angry. If I were him I would have taken a safer route and gave the prison gangs some fake names and cut all ties to any "Technical Support" but that's not his style. He should be commended for his efforts because others wouldn't have the courage or conviction to do this. Mr. Olmos doesn't glamorize the lifestyle either. Although they're men of honor amongst themselves I wouldn't want to be in their shoes. But what people have to do to stay alive in prison should not be looked down upon and on the other hand, when one's on the outside they should leave what they learned within the prison walls. Because it's a whole different ball game out here.
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