Slippin’: Ten Years with the Bloods (2005)

2 Jun

Slippin’ is a documentary about 5 members of the Bloods in Los Angeles. For 10 years KK, Jumbo, Dig Dug, CK and Low Down were followed. What can you expect from this film? Is it a documentary with lots of violence and bragging or is it a document about survival in bad circumstances?

If you listen a lot to rap you’ll probably already you quite a lot about gang life and the circumstances in the various hoods of the big cities. Excellent TV shows like The Wire and The Corner already managed to bring these situations to life for a bigger audience and show what kind of issues people in these neighbourhoods have to deal with.

Slippin’ shows that reality isn’t much different from the music and tv shows. The gang members are all men with hardly any education, who don’t have jobs and hang out all day, smoking weed and drinking. Violence and crime seem to be part of normal life and the gang members talk about robbing and killing someone like it’s a normal thing to do. They are all very interesting “characters” who all have their strange peculiarities which makes them interesting to watch. The documentary also shows the problem of crack addiction as an uncle of one of the gang members is shown stealing a car radio to be able to get some crack as he’s telling that he feels like he’s becoming sick if he doesn’t get his drugs. It’s something which is sad to see, but it is to be expected.

The thing I liked about this documentary is that it shows more than just a short moment in time. As the gang has been followed for ten years you see how these boys grow into men and start to look at life and their past differently. Some have decided to quit banging or have moved away to make sure they don’t have to deal with it as much anymore.
It offers a bit more perspective and shows the viewer the facts about this type of life. Gang life is not something which should be glamourised, but at the same time this movie shows that it’s a problem which won’t disappear any time soon. Every day new members join the gangs for various reasons, which makes it very difficult to solve.

Because of the time it has taken to make this documentary, Slippin’: Ten Years with the Bloods gives a balanced view of what it is like to be a gang member. Together with Bastards of the Party (which I will review soon) this is worth watching if you want to know more about the subject.

Score: 7


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