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An ex-con moves to L.A. to find work and creates a disturbance by fighting for a position. More importantly he touches the lives of many of his neighbors including an older man dying of cancer, a young married couple whose husband is too proud to accept a lesser position which causes strife with his wife, and a young boy on the verge of getting in trouble with street gangs. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
The cap that Socrates wears throughout the movie reads "90291", the zip code corresponding to the Los Angeles suburb of Venice (roughly 15 miles west of where this movie takes place). The M'Shalla family moves to Venice at the end of the movie after Howard gets a job offer there. See more »
This is one of those movies that's great for some, horrible for others. I don't think there's a middle ground. I happen to love it, mainly for the setting and the score. I, like Socrates, have always liked Los Angeles for it's anonymity, too. Believe it or not, I sometimes go to L.A. to get away from people! That phrase makes perfect sense to anyone who's been to L.A. enough times to really understand the culture there. It really is a land of 10 million passer byes. Only people from immediate areas, and, I mean literally one or two blocks, really know each other. There is very little public transit, subways, etc. Most people in L.A. are at the mercy of their car, and if you can't afford a car, you're at the mercy of your neighborhood, most of which in L.A. are controlled by gangs, and even when the gangsters are asleep, over ran with "common criminals" like the crack addict and the the wardrobe bandit, everyday thugs who disrespect anything and everything, for the sake of disrespecting anything and everything.
"City of Quartz" by Mike Davis gives about the best theory I've read as to how L.A. wound up this way; So many people, so little communication. Throw in a historically racist police department and, for reasons ranging from political corruption to covert U.S. military strategy, a favorite market for South American drug lords, and you have a perfect storm.
This film, instead of focusing on that storm, just focuses on one man and the small circle he's found himself part of, while this storm looms in the back drop. Interestingly enough, this film, and I would assume the book, which I'm yet to read, manages to give the viewer just as much of a glimpse into real Los Angeles as any film that focuses on the storm of racism, corruption, and it's subsequent drug and gang violence in Los Angeles. A true lesson for story tellers.
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