Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on step-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members...
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Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on step-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members of an East L.A. gang known as the "Vatos Locos", and the story focuses on how a violent crime and the influence of narcotics alter their lives. Miklo is incarcerated and sent to San Quentin, where he makes a "home" for himself. Cruz becomes an exceptional artist, but a heroin addiction overcomes him with tragic results. Paco becomes a cop and an enemy to his "carnal", Miklo.
I first saw this film a few years ago when my brother stumbled across it in a bargain basement basket bin! What a travesty for a start that it had not made a bigger mark at the box office and had been consigned to a cheap basket! I'm sure if released with more fanfare this time it would reach the audience it deserves! It is a story of rival gangs, family, love, betrayal, loyalty, acceptance - every film cliché you could think of.
It thoroughly explores the destiny of its 3 young stars as they struggle to make their way with the life path they have taken. I won't give away the plot as I believe anyway who truly loves films should see this film in its full glory with no knowledge of the plot or how the film eventually plays out.
I have been reading the postings, and many negative comments have been made about this film, but I believe this film stands up to much of its unfair criticism.
I will admit though, that I did squirm at some of Miklo's earlier expressions in the film, but a 3/4 of the way through he really picks up the baton and completely takes over. In fact, he is a revelation.
There are some cheesy bits of dialogue, but I don't think this takes away from the piece in any way.
It is a long film, but it needed to be. I don't think there are ANY scenes they could have done without - it is very effective, just the way it is.
Anybody who has seen it and didn't like it first time round, I employ you to rent it/buy it again and give it another try.
I purchased another copy of it again just a few days ago. I watched it yesterday and was still moved - as if it was the first time I saw it.
Its definitely TOP TEN best film material! MUST SEE!
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