Friday, November 6
Roxie Theatre, San Francisco
Director: Baljit Sangra
Country/Year: Canada, 2008
Running Time: 44 mins
Director Baljit Sangra in person
In Warrior Boyz, Indo-Canadian Director Baljit Sangra examines the gang activity among South Asian youth in the Vancouver area. To date, more than a hundred young men from the Sikh/Punjabi community have died in gang-related violence. In a world where a quick cell phone call can summon 50 kids armed with knives, bats and machetes, it is a struggle for some kids to reach their 25th birthday.
Sangra interviews three young men to find out why they are drawn away from the strong family values of their parents into the false glamour of gangster life. Jagdeep, an ex-gangster and survivor, carries the reminders of his gang experience mapped across his body in the form of bullet wounds and machete scars. He relates the harsh reality of a kid with low self-esteem in a racist culture: “Gang members seemed so powerful, untouchable -- no one screws with them." His experience is an ominous warning to fifteen year-old Tanvir, whose life is a free fall of alienation and violence (he never travels without his baseball bat for protection). 18-year old Vicky struggles with peer pressure and worries about going to the mall with his mom, in case he runs into a rival gang member there. But there is hope yet. Vice principal Sukh Rai, with his tough love attitude, believes that positive role models can reach and save these isolated & vulnerable kids.
The film was nominated for several awards at the BC’s DOCX Festival and the Vancouver Leo Awards.