80 Blocks From Tiffanys is one of the realest documentaries I’ve ever seen. The setting is late 70′s early 80′s, in NYC’s South Bronx when shit was beyond real. This film is basically an uncovered gem that is finally getting an official release. This DVD shows the streets of NYC… the old streets of NYC… the NYC thats trying to be forgotten. Jon Bradshaw wrote a piece on the gangs The Savage Skulls, and The Savage Nomads for Esquire magazine in the late 70′s. Gary Weiss who used to work for Saturday Night Live decided to make a documentary on the gangs for NBC after reading the article and its included in the DVD release and is seriously an amazing piece.
I think to the regular Joe, the documenty may seem barbaric and the Nomads and Skulls perhaps live up to the name Savage, but in my opinion and what is most prominent is the brotherhood. These guys were a family, they had each others back when the rest of the society turned their backs on them. They didn’t care what sex you were, or what color your skin was, I think they said, if you wanted to be down they didnt discriminate. From homicide, rape, theft, assault, breaking and entering The Savage Nomads rounded every base in societys underbelly, but at the same time, it showed growth. Blackie an ex-gang member got his life together after having a wife and child and in his own words “going to jail too much.”
The film is gritty, the sound is harsh, the film as a whole raw. The style was original and the people were more tan interesting, people talk about reality TV nowadays… This is reality TV in its purest form. Another real cool thing about this film it shows some of earl;iest footage of hip-hop in a block party where you even hear the classic mic check and Frankie Dee spinning wax 2 turntables a mic and a mixer and even a YES YES YALL!! Check this out ASAP if you cant wait they have copies of the VHS on AMAZON going for $150, or you can get this incredible DVD with a hardcover booklet of the Esquire Magazine article and an amazing painting on Novemeber 23rd via AMAZON.