During the 1980’s gang violence was at a record high. In Los Angeles, Boyle Heights was quickly named as the United States capital of gang activity and violence. J.S. Bohm’s documentary, “Father G. and the Homeboys” follows the story of Father Greg Boyle S.J. and his commitment to put a stop to gang violence.
At a time when our country struggled with solving the gang epidemic, Father Boyle realized that he had to work directly with gang members to help improve their own lives. He did so by creating Jobs for a Future which provides employment opportunities, counseling, and various services. According to Father Boyle, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
In 1992, Father Boyle took a step further and founded Homeboy Industries to create businesses that provide instruction, work experience and the chance for enemy gang members to work together. Out of Homeboy Industries successful businesses have been established including Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Graffiti Removal, Homeboy Maintenance, and Homeboy Landscaping.
While the documentary describes how Father Boyle founded these non-profit organizations, it really tells the story of four individuals who have been touched by Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries. Each of them struggle with the effort to stay out of a gang and abstain from drugs and alcohol. Heart-wrenching and powerful, the documentary highlights the opportunities Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries have given them.
Director, J.S. Bohm set out to create his first film, “Father G. and the Homeboys” back in 2003. After experiencing artistic differences with his first editor, Bohm worried about sharing the piece with anybody else. He finally showed the original rough cut version to Pete Tapia in 2005. Tapia shared a similar mindset with Bohm and believed that the film should be an intense “character study.”
The documentary, narrated by Martin Sheen, has already won several awards including the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival’s Genre Award (Best Documdrama), Audience Award (Best Documentary), Grand Jury Award (Best Documentary), and a Silver Remi Award from the 40th Annual Worldfest International Film Festival without even having a distributor.
On July 8th at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatres, “Father G. and the Homeboys” was screened at the Dances with Films Independent Independent Film Festival. With a full house and much praise after its screening, the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatres has decided to add an additional screening for Thursday, July 12, at 12:30 P.M.
The Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatres are located at 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 90046. For more information on the screening contact the theatre directly at (323) 848-3500 or online at www.laemmle.com
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Written by Candice Courtney Mc Fadyen