“‘This Ain’t Normal’ lasers in on five Boston gang members and a daring team of street mentors who rescue them from doom.”
Congratulations to the whole crew at Boston’s Kreateabuzz Documentary Films, which was recently nominated for an Emmy for its outstanding local doc project, This Ain’t Normal, which Dig contributor M.J. Tidwell described in 2017 as “a profound film that brings the audience into the homes of young men in their neighborhoods, and has them explain the multilayered, complex social and economic issues that drive gun violence so high.”
There’s been other good news for the crew behind the film, including about distribution. According to a media statement issued on behalf of This Ain’t Normal and Kreateabuzz Documentary Films:
A Black Boston feature film, This Ain’t Normal, has been nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Social Issue Documentary. This Ain’t Normal is available to stream and broadcast on SHOWTIME in the United States. A recent deal brokered by Byron Allen’s Los Angeles film distribution company, Freestyle Digital Media, secures rights for This Ain’t Normal for two years on SHOWTIME, bringing this important motion picture to audiences across the US.
Directed by American Film Institute awardee Rudy Hypolite, This Ain’t Normal lasers in on five Boston gang members and a daring team of street mentors who rescue them from doom. The youth intervention model unveiled here is a lesson to cities across the nation on how to lower the numbers of homicides and jail terms now plaguing Black and Brown youth. The film offers a shining example how to help teens and young adults profoundly at risk transform their lives.
With a bouncing hip hop sound track composed and engineered by two-time Boston Music Awards winner Malik Williams and high production values by Director of Photography Mike Pesci and editor Oriel Danielson, this movie hits the ground running with snapshots of inner-city Boston’s jam-up of warring gangs and choruses of street-hardened bravado by angry young gang members. But as the story unfolds, the audience gasps at the testimony of childhood trauma divulged by these tough talkers, many of whom are fatherless, and wrenching back stories shared by the brave street mentors who intervene. By the time the credits roll, any sane viewer realizes these would-be bad actors are the beloved sons of struggling parents and worth whatever it takes to save and affirm them.
This year, major American cities have seen a dramatic spike in gun violence with frontline officials scrambling for solutions. Meanwhile, as part of federal pandemic relief, Washington will send large sums of money to our inner cities for COVID recovery. The This Ain’t Normal/Kreateabuzz crew wants lawmakers to watch this movie as a proven blueprint for youth intervention. Says director Rudy Hypolite, “It’s not enough to make documentary films that wow our audiences. We need our legislators to adopt this crisis model and use these new federal dollars to enact this youth rescue plan. Boston can teach our entire country how to save lives, decrease violent crime, and prevent further family heartbreak.”