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Bastards of the Party

Last night during my painting session, I caught a riveting, thorough, thoughtful and enlightening documentary profiling the history of gang violence in L.A. on Netflix called Bastards of the Party: The Evolution of Bangin.

The film, conceived, directed and narrated by Cle Sloan, a former gangbanger who clearly stays well-connected to the lifestyle but has opted to re-work the situation from within.

Sloan, arrives at an epiphany; countless young black men kill and die for the love of their gang, yet no one even knows where or why these gangs came about. His questions lead to an uncovering of a legacy of civil unrest, misdirected intentions, government conspiracies and black angst going back to the 1940’s. The history lesson is validated through interviews with OG’s, historians, governments officials, CIA operatives and more.

Sloan does an excellent job at humanizing gang members. At one point he posits that by removing the humanity from one’s enemies, you in effect validate your disdain for their existence, making it easier to kill and destroy them or what they represent.

A sobering yet optimistic story that apparently has gained little attention. I highly recommend this film. You can find it streaming on Netflix!


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