ON TRACK by Roberto Arevalo, 40 minutes, Lowell, Massachusetts
This documentary is an inside look at the gang phenomenon affecting young people in cities and suburbs throughout America today. Fifteen-year-old Ricky Le was beaten with fists, kicks and crowbars by eighteen of his fellow gang members when he tried to leave his gang. The gang ritual, known as "jumping out" left Ricky Le in a coma for weeks and hospitalized for months. Sako Long spent his years as a child in and out of juvenile custody, eventually landing himself in state prison as a result of his involvement in a gang. Mike Ortiz joined a gang at eight years old and left it when he was a teenager. Today he is an accomplished attorney working with the Lowell School Department.
The human face of gang violence, the profound honesty, and the many points of view presented in this documentary provide a comprehensive analysis of the complex causes and effects of the gang problem. It highlights the importance of personal choice and the responsibility of all members of society to prevent the formation of gangs and the use of guns.
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