In which we look at the real-life Warriors.
In 1979 director and producer Gary Weis was inspired by an article written by Jon Bradshaw for Esquire Magazine. Titled ‘Savage Skulls’ it detailed the everyday life of two street gangs who resided in the derelict wasteland of the South Bronx. Weis convinced Saturday Night Live creator to help finance a documentary about the young men and women who comprised the Savage Skulls and the Savage Nomads. The film – named 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s due to the distance from the most affluent part of New York to the most abandoned – is an amazing time-capsule of an era of the city and a remarkable record of a vanished culture. 80 Blocks also illustrates the severe problems affecting the residents of the South Bronx: high unemployment, prostitution and drug and alcohol abuse.
It feels like the film ends only minutes before the twin blights of Reagan and crack cocaine were about to ravage America, and only seconds before the birth of hip-hop – which you can almost feel during the block party that closes the documentary.
The film also gave name to two mix-tapes by Camp Lo and Pete Rock, released in 2011 and 2013 respectively, so if you’re in need of some good music today, enjoy!
Take care of yourselves and have a great day, Avocado.