“Fruits of War” A Documentary of Hope and Redemption
“Fruits of War” explores how U.S. government’s role in encouraging the creation of Salvadoran gangs in the 80s and 90s, through their foreign policies in Central America. As a result, gang violence that has plagued El Salvador for more than thirty five years. The film follows four reformed gang members — Bullet, Rebel, Weazel, and Duke, who escaped to the United States as child refugees from El Salvador’s bloody civil war. They settled in the tough Pico Union Westlake and Koreatown area of Los Angeles. With little family support and taking abuse from other groups in the area, these men took part in the formation of the major gangs in the area: Like MS-13, CYS and 18 Street. The U.S. in their continued repressive gang policies created an epidemic of gang violence, after the civil war ended in 1992 the US began deporting undocumented criminalized immigrants including gang members with felony records. When these four men in the documentary return to El Salvador, they discover a country ravaged by war, violence and poverty. They witnessed as the street gangs created in Los Angeles took root in their homeland. The Salvadoran government started implementing failed gang policies used before in the U.S. such as Zero Tolerance initiatives. With support from the US, they begin a brutal crackdown on the gangs, and these four men find themselves in the middle of a conflict similar to the civil war. As they realize how difficult it is to get away from the violence, they form an organization to help each other. These men share their journeys of self-discovery, redemption and use their tragic experience in gangs, to deportees, to what it means to become a peacemaker.
Director: Josiah Hooper Josiah Hooper is a freelance television producer from the San Francisco Bay Area, shooting and producing for public television and cable programs.Most recently he produced two segments for the PBS program Frontline World. Read More
Fruits of War explores a devastating cycle of gang violence that has plagued El Salvador for more than thirty years. http://www.kqed.org/arts/programs/trulyca/episode.jsp?epid=205907
12 Minute version
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