Los Angeles Times - 03/13/1992
"...Earnest, unrelenting....AMERICAN ME packs a considerable wallop..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/27/1992
"...The language, the clothes, the attitudes, are all shown with the understated conviction of a director who is sure of the material..."
A Latino crime lord creates a position of power for himself and his comrades in prison that extends to the streets of east Los Angeles. At first, he is elated by the control he wields but as maturity and a blossoming relationship affect his consciousness, he realizes that his desire for social change is mired in his own cult of violence. Based on a true story.
A life of violence is traced from the Zoot Suit riots of the 1940s to the bloody streets of the 199os. Three homeboys, Santana, Mundo and JD, born in a crucible of poverty, create the capitalist dream in their own way as powerful gang members. Jailed in their youth, they control the streets from the cellblock. After his release, Santana wavers between the o. g. lifestyle and fresh beginning with a new love.
Additional cast members include Panchito Gomez (Young Santana); Steve Wilcox (Young JD); Roberto Martin Marquez (Acha); Dyanna Ortelli (Yolanda); Joe Aubel (Tattoo Artist); Rob Garrett (Zoot Riot Bystander); Lance August (Young Sailor); Cody Glenn (Older Sailor); Don Pugsley (Police Officer); Albert Joe Medina Jr. and Alex Solis (Street Mechanics); Raymond Amezquita (Abuelito); Javier Castellanos (Hazard Kid)and Richard Lee-Sung (Restaurant Owner).