Watts Up?

A special 25-minute documentary produced by leaders of the Watts gang truce between the Crips and Bloods. Nancy Buchanan and Michael Zinzun ran a video production class at Watts Arts Tower to teach these residents how to shoot and edit video, and then they produced this documentary that reviewed the impact of the gang truce after it had been in effect for one year.

00:19Copy video clip URL “Watts Up!” Program created by former gang members & residents of Watts in Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs & Imperial Courts. Camera opens on a man sitting in a park and talking about gang violence. Shots of: “Gone but not forgotten” graffiti, DARE billboard, Nickerson Gardens sign, Compton sign,  Nickerson Composite introductory footage concerning gang activity. Group of men sitting and talking about the successful reduction of gang violence after a peace treaty in L.A. Young girl speaks about the treaty. Footage of community activity in a housing complex. Community members, including a woman from a mother’s anti-violence group and a few young men, talk about the lack of media coverage about the reduction of violence, the changes that have been made, and what the reduction of violence has done for the community. People sitting at picnic tables, boys playing basketball. Shots of spray-painted murals concerning police violence.  

6:22Copy video clip URL “Truce Party, Imperial Courts Fall 1992” Group of young men listening to music and dancing. Community members talk about the building of a prison in their community. Shot of the prison building. Shots of a young man being arrested. A woman off camera talks about the illegal detainment of the man. Michael Zinzun speaking at a community conference about decriminalizing black people.

9:00Copy video clip URL Community members speak about Henry Pecos, a young man who was shot and killed by the LAPD. They describe the circumstances of his death. They speak about the relationship between the police and the community. Memorial for Pecos. Community members speak about the peace treaty again and reducing violence. Clips of police breaking up a truce meeting. Zinzun speaking about criminalization again. Community members speak about employment in their community. Shots of kids and community members hanging out together. Cameraman continues to ask community members about the peace treaty. Some people aren’t aware of the treaties, but others describe some of the meetings and events that the treaty has led to. Man speaks with a young child about stopping gang violence. 

23:08Copy video clip URL Credits.

25:10Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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