BY DINO LULL
10/21/2009 - 10/27/2009
"Flyin' Cut Sleeves"
Produced and directed by Henry Chalfant and Rita Fechner
AUGUSTA, GA - A 60-minute documentary done in a where-are-they-now
style, "Flyin' Cut Sleeves" expertly captures the changes that come
with age for several ex-gang members from turbulent early '70's South
Bronx, New York.
Completed in 1993, this documentary not only explains the actions,
desires, and history of South Bronx street gangs such as the Savage
Nomads, the Young Lords and many others; but it also shows the viewer
how the gangs collapsed, how the members go on with their lives after
they have grown up, and what became of the good intentions of
community building many of the gangs tried to foster in their neighborhood.
During the late '60's and early '70's when many groups began
following in the footsteps of the Black Panthers, the disaffected
urban youth gathered together into street gangs, often fighting for
dominance of their turf. Director Rita Fecher was there on the front
lines, talking to the young men and women who shaped their
communities first through gang violence then through proactive
political action and protest. Now, 20 years later Fecher returns to
visit her old friends and finds some of them family men, many are
social workers, and some never made it out.
Emotionally moving and very real, "Flyin' Cut Sleeves" shows both the
accomplishments and the failures of the ex-members. The viewer feels
their pain and sees that many of them have become their own parents
in a cyclical system. The lingering question is this: Will their
children also become gang members?
Sixty minutes of high-quality video, "Flyin' Cut Sleeves" is an
interesting, intellectual trip to the South Bronx and into a world
many only know about from television.