Director: Freida Lee Mock
Total Running Time: 92 minutes
Release Date: 2012
This is the story of a remarkable odd couple. There’s Father Greg Boyle, a white Jesuit priest who’s spent some 25 years in the toughest part of East LA, and then there’s the tough, street-smart, and amazingly sweet young people – all former gang members – whom G-Dog loves and helps, and who love him in turn. For Father Greg’s remedy for what he calls “a global sense of failure” for kids at-risk is radical and simple: boundless, restorative love. His unstoppable compassion has turned around the lives of thousands of Latino, Asian and African American gang members.
G-Dog works by a powerful idea: “Nothing Stops a Bullet like a Job.” Over the years his Homeboy Industries in LA has become an international model for rebuilding and redirecting the lives of gang members. Kids come in off the street, rival gang members – 12,000 a year – looking for a way out of gang life. Homeboy, located in a gang-neutral area of downtown LA on the edge of Chinatown, takes them in, providing free job training, tattoo removal, counseling, yoga, fatherhood- and substance abuse classes. If they stick with it, the kids get jobs baking, cooking, serving, printing t-shirts and cleaning in the Homeboy businesses – a café, retail store, catering service, a silk screen shop – to learn the soft and hard skills to move on. In 18 months the homies are ready to go into the world to make a positive difference. For Homeboy has an astonishing success rate – 70% turn their back on gang life, compared to a recidivism rate of 70% of other such programs. Homeboy is the one place in the ‘hood that turns lives around: swapping violence for community and building for the first time a sense of the future. We see it happen in G-DOG.
2013 Cleveland International Film Festival – ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
2013 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – Best Documentary, Best in the Fest Audience Award
2012 Aspen Filmfest – Audience Favorite Documentary
2012 Los Angeles Film Festival – US Premiere
2012 Hot Docs Film Festival – World Premiere, Top 3 Audience Favorite of the People’s Choice Award