Thursday, July 19, 2018

Film Documentary; Evolution of a Criminal.

July 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Evolution of a Criminal, a (2014) documentary by Darius Clark Monroe, examines his transition from quasi-criminal to filmmaker. Yes, it is presently available on Netflix in 8 countries, including here in the U.S.; But it is my concern that, as with many nuanced low-budget/art house films about people of African descent, Evolution has not been fairly marketed to its target audience (e.g. Black Men & Inner-city teens) and could very easily be overlooked by many individuals who endure similar circumstances as young Darius.

Who gets to see and value what film is a much larger socio-economic dilemma than this article will discuss, despite my intent to spread the word about the documentary to a specific demographic.

This autobiographical documentary follows the filmmaker as he reflects on the substandard conditions that led to his decision to rob a Bank of America (Stafford, Texas) at sixteen. It was 1997 and Darius’ blended family had suffered financial setbacks for much of his childhood.

His mother, too often confiding in her only son about the family’s debt, maintains she did not know their conversations affected him so severely. Darius internalized his mother’s woes and proceeded to provide a solution – he robbed a bank. In the film Darius interviews his family while seeking atonement from victims of the robbery.

Whereas a doc about criminal activity in an inner-city is not innovative, Darius Clark Monroe’s Evolution of a Criminal, analyzes black male criminality from a human perspective that is not derived from a textbook conceived by detached sociologists who study black bodes like lab rats. It does not excuse the act of robbery – Darius is seen serving time in prison; but it does look at how children who inherit impoverishment are indeed victims of robbery themselves.

If you have not seen the film – check it out, and share it with someone.

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