Jamaican Gang Culture And South African Drug Culture – Unreported World

By | 17 October 2007

As I write this I am happy that I have been to watch quite a few interesting documentaries at the Frontline Club. The two most recent were made for Channel 4’s Unreported World. This is channel four’s “acclaimed foreign affairs series” and covers a number of topics. The two documentaries I watched were South Africa: Children of the Lost Generation and  Jamaica: Guns votes and money.

Both are investigative observational documentaries showing the progress made by the journalists as they try to uncover the stories that other documentary channels cover. The South African documentary gave an insight into the drug Tik and how, although it is mainly affecting those in the slums is also coming to the wealthier white areas as well. It is well shot and there are a few interesting interviews that give us a good insight into the problem.

When it comes to the Jamaican documentary it is interesting because of the way it has covered the gang and gun culture found in certain areas. The documentary maker and his crew were fortunate to find people that would allow them to come into this gang culture and learn more about the daily lives of these people.

During the Questions and answers session we learned more about the process, how they did some forms of pre-production before arriving, how they had difficulties speaking with Police but how the gang members welcomed them in. When asked how they were allowed to film the gangs they couldn’t really explain it. They did express disappointment, especially for the Jamaica story, on how they had been unable to cover the police point of view, and how the documentary would have gone in another direction.

Watching documentaries is a passion of mine so getting to listen to and meet the people who create these documentaries is great. Hearing the questions that people ask is also interesting because of the little details you learn through the in-depth knowledge certain of these individuals have.

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