I posted the trailer for this movie last term, but it looks like the filmmaker made a short short version for Op-docs. I wanted to share it for a couple of reasons. One is that it delves more into the mentorship that happens through these gangs. As one of the older guys in the video notes, he gets excited to see the young guys giving it a go and training now because he knows when they get older they will be accomplished riders. Also, it kinda answers some questions we had on Thursday about why people might participate in these dangerous sports. As one of the characters in the piece notes, they are free when they are riding their bikes, and they can leave behind all the stresses that come with their living situation.
This version of the piece also gives a more complex picture through the different points of view of people living in Baltimore and coming in contact with the 12 O’Clock Boys. You hear the (racist) former police commissioner calling for action against them, the adults in the community questioning their involvement, the older gang members who support the sport and the young kids that get involved, and the younger kids who are excited about being involved because of how it feels and what it means to them. The piece also starts with someone talking negatively about the 12 O’Clock boys and ends with a veteran gang member and newer, younger member talking about what a positive activity it is for them when their aren’t too many positive things in their lives. So, there is a nice resolution or counterpoint within the piece.