Gangs exposed in Brewer film
Michael Caleo is set to adapt the book by Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader For A Day - A Rogue Sociologist Crosses The Line (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Play.com), with Craig Brewer directing, and why does that sound so exciting? Well the book tells the story of how college professor Venkatesh joined up with a crack-dealing gang and chronicled their operation.
Even more interesting is that at one point he was given the job of running the entire gang for a day.
Not only is this film being made of his book, but an earlier book on the subject, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Play.com), by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is being made into documentary with leading directors making short films of each of the chapters.
The story does sound fascinating, and the novel tells how the sociologist spent years with the gang called the Black Kings and chronicled how they operated, examining their workings and relationships for a research project.
Surprisingly, according to Variety, what was found was that the gang operated very much like a legitimate corporate company, and the most interesting part of the film will be when Sudhir Venkatesh was actually given the job of running the entire gang for the day.
Perhaps this film will raise some controversy as it might be perceived that it's glamorising the idea of belonging to a gang and the gang culture itself. However I think rational and real looks into the gangs which are often so demonised may actually have a better effect than expected.