Father Greg Boyle, a white Jesuit priest, is affectionately
known as ‘G-Dog’ by the homies he has come to know during the 25 years he has
spent in East L.A. He founded ‘Homeboy Industries’, an organization that serves
former gang members and convicts with a continuum of services such as job
training, tattoo removal, counseling, legal services, and substance abuse
classes to ensure that the ex-bangers don’t return to their high-risk former
lives. Homeboy Industries also offers job placement in its Homeboy businesses
which includes cafes, catering, and retail stores to learn skills they can take
with them to start their careers and new lives.
In G-Dog, a documentary directed by Academy Award winner Freida Lee
Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear
Vision), we follow Boyle
during a tumultuous year for Homeboy Industries. In 2010, the organization
faced adversity in the form of crippling financial difficulties and two murders
that served as a reminder that the streets are never too far away. Father
Boyle’s idea that, “nothing stops a bullet like a job” suddenly seemed like
just that: an idea. Despite these arduous times, a sense of unconditional love
permeates the air between everyone that steps foot into Homeboy Industries and
a sense of community rather than self is paramount to these individuals. A
loyalty that perhaps lingers in their DNA from their days of gang activity.
Laced with humor and sweetness that betray the neighborhoods these men and
women come from, G-Dog is a heartfelt, feel good movie about the difference one
man has made to thousands just because he made an effort to try.
Out now at Cinema Village, NYC, ‘G-Dog’ is part of Docudrama, a slate of seven films that includes newly acquired titles fresh off the festival circuit.
Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino
film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices.
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