Black and Gold | Chicago Reader

Black and Gold

This 1999 video advocates the cause of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, a former New York City street gang that claims to have transformed itself into a political organization. Nation leader King Tone, radical attorney Ron Kuby, and others make a plausible case that the group has been targeted by police, suffering massive arrests but few convictions, because they?re attacking the capitalist system instead of killing each other. Directors Richard Rowley and Jacquie Soohen combine hip-hop beats with a variety of visual techniques to capture the group?s spirit and the contradictions under which they operate. Some of these?anamorphic stretching that widens people?s faces, superimposing colorful graffiti over images of the group?prove more distracting than illuminating, while the video ignores many basic questions, such as whether the group has truly shed its criminal past.

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