Jagdeep carries the remainders of his gang experience mapped across his body in the form of bullet wounds and machete scars. A steady pattern of escalation pulled him deeper into the criminal underworld, until, he says, "I was gonna be dead." His experience is an ominous warning to 15-year-old Tanvir, whose life is a free fall of alienation and violence. Eighteen-year-old Vicky, who is struggling to graduate from high school, refuses to even talk about his past for fear of retaliation. "Warrior Boyz" focuses on the experience of two young men and the people who are fighting to help them resist the lure and false glamour of gang life.
In a world where memory and tradition are fading, replaced with suburban strip malls and fast food joints, where a quick cellphone call can summon 50 kids armed with knives, bats and machetes, it is a struggle for some kids to reach their 25th birthday. To date, more than a hundred young men from the South Asian community have died in gang-related violence in Metro Vancouver - a pattern that is replicated in different communities across the country. But behind the body count and headline news stories, a far different battle is being waged. Educators and parents who want to see the end of gang violence are taking action. Sukh Rai, vice principal and a major Surrey secondary school, says kids are "looking for connections in the wrong areas, with the wrong people."
"Warrior Boyz" takes an unflinching look at some of the root causes of gang violence and offers real solutions and a hard-fought hope for the future. Whether it is teachers who find ways to keep kids in school or parents who forgo the endless push of consumerist culture to spend more time with their children, moments of courage, tenacity and compassion endure.
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