Jan 242009

Baby_movieposter.jpgA tragic tale of an Asian youth’s gang life in South East Los Angeles, set during the mid 80’s to the early 90s.

I’m not sure the movie ever went into general release in the theaters. It was released in 2008. Some scenes show graphic violence, and the language is a little salty from time to time. There was only one little sex scene showing no real nudity.

Genre: Drama

Cast: Feodor Chin, David Huynh, Ken Choi, Shannon Dang, Aljarreau Galang, Kenzo Lee, Tzi Ma, Ron Yuan, Christina Stacey, Dana Lee, Janet Linn, Ryan Andres, Meng Wei,     Peter Cho

Director: Juwan Chung

We rented this movie on DVD. This was a very interesting movie. It showed the dark side of gangs in general, and specifically within the Asian community, but it is not an Asian film. It really was more around the whole theme of how gang members come to be.

The movie uses the classic construct of jumping back and forth between the past the present to tell the story. I’m OK with this approach, but it got a little chaotic in this movie. The interesting part is, the Director, Chung, managed to have me both rooting for Huynh’s Baby, while at the same time questioning his choices. This is hard to accomplish, but the writers and director did a great job of it in this film.

The movie opens with Huynh’s character just arriving home from serving time in a juvenile prison for a murder. We eventually are “flashed back” to learn he was about 11 or so when he committed the crime, but we’re first shown how he wound up involved with a gang at that young age. Interspersed, we see him attempting to find a place in this new life after prison. Without much help or hope, he returns to the old gang ways, and we follow him through that as well.

As I noted, it’s easy to root for him, in that we get a sense he could turn out to be a decent guy and turn things around, but he just never quite gets there.

It also speaks clearly to how we wind up with kids in gangs. It’s not hard when their parents and other positive influences are absent, I’d definitely recommend the film.

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