He not only stars in, directed and co-produced this powerful, pointed film about the self-perpetuating cycle of gang life in East Los Angeles, but he also just about willed it into existence.
Watching Santana and his cohorts ingeniously smuggle drugs and administer violent retribution provides a chilling picture of a world most of us would rather not know existed.
The lead character, Santana Montoya, is portrayed as having been raped as a juvenile, and ultimately stabbed to death by his own followers at the end of his criminal career, which never happened to any Mexican Mafia member with similar characteristics to Santana.
Manuel Rocky Luna, like Manriquez, a La Eme member who had served as an unpaid consultant for American Me, was killed a little over a year later. When we first see Santana, inhe is Movie analysis of american me tough year-old, at odds with his embittered old man and intent only on forming a tight "cliqua" or gang with neighborhood pals J.
And, as the actor has made clear in interviews, he sees "American Me" less as a movie than as a wake-up call for a community under siege. Santana becomes attracted to both Julie Evelina Fernandeza neighborhood single parent, and to the East L. Court documents show that Olmos was a victim in one extortion count contained in a count federal indictment.
And when it comes to the Mafia-Mafia conflict, "American Me" is really at sea, resorting to cliched situations and predictable violence that merely echo "The Godfather" and lack the kind of impact that makes the film distinctive.
In prison, they are the law. Violent as it is, American Me is seldom dramatic enough to bring its material to life. The film was in wide release for three weeks seventeen days. It demands no less of its audience. Cold, brutal, almost emotionless individuals, ossified by years behind the walls, they have expanded their neighborhood "cliqua" into a prison-wide one known as the Mexican Mafia that not only offers welcome protection for Latino inmates but also sates the prison-wide appetite for gambling, sex and drugs.
The Avenue Gang is a subset of La Eme. Critical response[ edit ] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times liked the reality that came through in the film and that it rang true: Morgan died of cancer behind bars ina year after American Me hit theatres and only months following him filing a lawsuit against Olmos and the makers of the film for defaming him and stealing his likeness without providing compensation.
Back in the s, the L. The original soundtrack was released on April 28, by Virgin Records. It insists that there are no quick fixes, but that solutions are of the utmost urgency. His direction helped by cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos and co-producer Robert Young as a camera operator is similarly geared toward avoiding undue exaggeration in order to make the whole seem as realistic as possible.
Almost by accident, they get in trouble with the law and end up in the brutal confines of Juvenile Hall, where circumstances teach Santana a hard lesson: Ana The Gang Lady Lizarraga, a community youth counselor and official on-set paid consultant to Olmos, was shot to death in front of her house in May Once Santana is released from prison, however, "American Me" rated R for strong violence, sensuality, language and drug content starts to lose the intensity of its focus, moving off into two separate directions with mixed results.
Cadena, an iconic figure in the annals of the west coast underworld, was murdered by members of rival gang, Nuestra Famillia a Northern California Hispanic prison sect in In reality, the Mexican Mafia forbids homosexual sex and Cadena never left La Eme, nor did his comrades ever turn against him.
Mexican Mafia founders — c. Gonzales, just weeks removed from being sprung out of Folsom Prison, ambushed Lizarraga as she came out of her home and began packing up her car for a daytrip with her family to the beach.
The first sound heard in "American Me" is the familiar one of prison doors clanging shut. She was shot at point-blank range in the head by recently-paroled Mexican Mafia prospect Jose Joker Gonzales on May 13,executed in her driveway in front of her son and boyfriend.
Ojeda is on trial right now for racketeering and extortion in federal court. But when Olmos sticks to the things he knows in his gut, to emphasizing the points about kids victimized by the gang mystique that he has fought so many years to express, an impact is what "American Me" definitely makes.
Ramona Gardens is located in Riverside, California and is the oldest and biggest Hispanic housing project in L. On the streets, they are the power.
He was apprehended minutes later running from the scene and convicted at a forthcoming trial.
Marketing[ edit ] The producers of the film used the following tagline to market the film: Whether as retaliation over the offensive depiction, or as a routine criminal racket, Mexican Mafia member Joe "Pegleg" Morgan allegedly attempted to extort money from Olmos.
Within a few short years, it spread like wildfire across the west coast penal system and then eventually onto the streets. As the man with the coldest stare this side of Alcatraz, Olmos, his eyes soulful in a face of stone, gives a contained, charismatic performance as the powerful Santana.
In its widest release the film was featured in theaters across the country. Earnest, unrelenting and violent, "American Me" packs a considerable wallop, but it has concentrated so hard on delivering its message that, inevitably, its value as drama tends at times to fall by the wayside.
With Luna already treading on thin ice from the American Me consultation, his days were numbered. Aguirre was convicted of the gangland slaying in On August 7, he was riddled with a fatal barrage of bullets while sitting behind the wheel of his car by Avenue Gang boss Alex Pee Wee Aguirre. Ligrew up in Ramona Gardens.Essay on American Me Words | 7 Pages.
American Me American Me The film; American Me is an epic depiction of 30 years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles, California. The movie focuses on the life of a s teen named Montoya Santana, who forms a gang with his close friends.
American Me: 3/ In all fairness I have to admit I was expecting more of a gang picture (albeit a serious one) with Mexican overtones rather than a straightforward prison drama. American Me is a straightforward prison drama. Edward J. Olmos made his directorial bow with the powerhouse crime saga American Me.
Olmos stars as street-gang leader Santana, who during his 18 years in Folsom Prison rules over all the drug-and-murder activities behind bars.
Charles (Charlie Brown) Manriquez, a Mexican Mafia member and unofficial consultant to American Me, was slain in March inside a Los Angeles housing project and La Eme stronghold less than two weeks after the film premiered. "American Me" opens in theaters throughout San Diego County today, but it has been playing in Edward James Olmos' head for 18 years.
He not only stars in, directed and co-produced this powerful, pointed film about the self-perpetuating cycle of gang life in East Los Angeles, but he also just about. Mar 13, · American Me R | 2h 5min | Biography, Crime, Drama | 13 March (USA) A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle/10(K).Download