New to DVD and VOD this week: THE BLACK JACKET
Ryan Simon’s profile of a gang intervention program makes its debut this week. In addition to DVD, it comes to VOD and digital download via Virgil Films.
Set in South Central LA, Simon’s observational film follows three men involved with PCITI, a grassroots program that aims to interrupt gang violence by enabling former gang members and other community members to take an active role in intervention. The program director, Aquil Basheer, is a former Black Panther who has been successful at getting rival gangs to set aside their turf wars to participate in the program. Reynaldo is a graduate of PCITI, who puts the lessons learned into practice as an interventionist in his community. James is a member of the latest PCITI class, a young man who is eager to find an alternative to gang life. While somewhat of a rough-hewn production, the film does a good job of balancing its three subjects and their three different perspectives on the admirable program and its various challenges.