"Targeted by Donald Trump's policy, Latino kids from underprivileged neighborhoods find a future through skateboarding - which has long been a symbol of street culture, liberation, and expression, now presented in this beautiful film as a powerful social tool, leading a way forward and away from delinquency. ". - Télérama (FR)
This conscientious documentary focuses on marginalized youth of Mexican descent in East Los Angeles, whose basic human concerns remain in the shadows of a public debate dominated by anti-immigration rhetoric and discrimination.
In light of the protracted legal battle over DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the current administration's threat to revoke the status of "Dreamers", this documentary provides a glimpse into the heart of an impoverished community under attack from all sides, and looking for solutions from within. It shows a case-study of grassroots community building in service of the urgent needs of education and emotional guidance for vulnerable youth. These youth, mostly teenagers of Mexican and Central American descent, are well aware that their self-worth is under attack from the highest levels of government, and further remain at-risk of succumbing to gangs and criminality nearby in order to survive.
A 53-year old ex-convict, Jerry, has decided to fight against these tides in his community, by giving hope and constructive determination back to young Latinos facing bleak futures. In one of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods, he has created THE GARAGE, a skateboarding school and after-school program whose main purpose is to encourage a corrective path for education and acceptance. To get in, there’s only one condition -- do your homework. When the youth enter through the door for the first time, Jerry promises them all one thing, “don’t worry, tomorrow is gonna be OK”.
Such simple suggestions of hope are proving deeply impactful in shifting the mindsets of these neglected kids, and seem a first step toward ultimately shifting their realities.
70 Minutes | English, Spanish with English Subtitles.