Media education

The Jungle: by teens of the 12th and Oxford Corporation

A selection from the Eighth Orphan Film Symposium: Community Youth Filmmaking
Split over two days, this was probably the highlight of the entire symposium for me. Jay Schwartz, with an impeccably researched presentation, introduced The Jungle (1967), a gritty docudrama entirely produced by the 12th & Oxford street gang, a group of black male teenagers living in the most dangerous part of Philadelphia offered a chance to tell their story by producer Harold Haskins. These kids did everything: write the script, handle the camera, record the sound, act and block their own rough fight scenes, even record a doo wop soundtrack (the rhythmic theme of the film, pounded out on the bottom of a garbage can, is hauntingly effective). Schwartz shared the story of the mighty rise and devastating fall of the gang's film company as they took the film world by storm for a brief, shining moment before a shocking murder, in-fighting, and drugs dissolved the union. Added to the National Registry in 2009, The Jungle is a must-see, and is thankfully available on YouTube, though it isn't quite the same without a theatrical setting and Schwartz's fascinating presentation.  -- From this blog by Casey:


teens, youth media, street organizations, Philadelphia, 16mm, gang, media education