‘G-Dog’ Shows an Innovative Approach to Gang Intervention

ALBERT SABATÉ (ABC News) | April 27, 2013

“G-Dog” tells the story of Homeboy Industries and the inspirational priest behind it. The emotional documentary, by Academy Award-winning director Frieda Mock, is a portrait of a man whose unconditional love and humor have reinvented gang intervention in Los Angeles and beyond.

For a quarter of a century, Father Gregory Boyle, known affectionately as G-Dog, has worked to rehabilitate gang members. The story focuses on Boyle’s work and his non-profit Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, which offers job training, education services, tattoo removal, therapy and drug rehabilitation.

Homeboy’s fundraising couldn’t keep pace with its increasingly popular programs and, like many non-profits during the economic crisis, the organization underwent financial difficulties in the late 2000s. As a result, Homeboy Industries laid off it’s 300-person staff in May 2010. G-Dog himself filed for unemployment at the time.

It is emotional to see the fall of what has arguably become a pillar of public safety in Los Angeles. This remains a minor thread of a film edited to be an uplifting story of hardened gang-members turned into smiling, soft “teddy bears” by Father Boyles’ unconditional love. Mostly, the film surveys the many gang-intervention programs and highlights the safe, inclusive and a remarkably strong community that Boyle has built with rehabilitated gang members who were once rivals.

Filmmakers don’t venture out of the safe circle that Boyle has created in communities through his life’s work. The film fails to dig deeper into the issue of gang crime or look at what happens when you marginalize a segment of society.

Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Entertainment/documentary-dog-profiles-gang-intervention-leader-father-gregory/story

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