Blood Money: Criminals Gone Wild

cgw.jpgI was made aware of this video a couple of months ago but resisted writing on it since I did not want to give it any more air play than it was receiving at the time. But now that the film is out and is all over the blogosphere and newspapers, I don’t think my little blog can do anything to add to the hype. So my 2 cents on this:

A DVD purporting to show real footage of violent crimes including shootings, carjackings and sexual assault has the Internet buzzing, police investigating and critics outraged at reality filmmaking gone wild.

Producer Ousala Aleem, 25, says he has already sold more than 10,000 copies of “Criminals Gone Wild,” which reportedly contains raw and uncut footage of robberies, muggings, drive-by shootings and assaults.

Aleem, of Brooklyn, N.Y., called the budget for the movie filmed in New York, Connecticut and Alabama “real small,” but said he has already made more than $300,000 since it went on sale last month. [Source: ABC]

There has been some debate as to whether this DVD is real or not. The way I see it, it makes no difference. It’s being marketed it as real. Either way it’s glamorization of black on black crime — well, murder actually. That’s the real problem with it.

And it’s sad on so many levels. The most obvious and disturbing, is the exploitation of the black community by a black man — all in the name of making a buck. In the filmmaker’s own words, “The minute you come out with crime footage everybody wants to buy it. My pockets are fat now.”

If indeed, this movie is real, Aleem actually stood by filming black men robbing and killing other black men, sold it as a DVD, and is now boasting about how much money it has made him.

The second sad point is the wasted talent in this production. How much planning, leg work, and skill did it take Aleem to produce this DVD and market it? Making contacts with those in the film, acquiring the necessary equipment and software, shooting the footage, editing, artwork for the cover, advertising. It’s no small task. All this ability and hard work put towards this? Really? Imagine if that same talent had been applied to a productive endeavor for the black community; or at least non harmful one. A sad display of an extreme lack of imagination.

Just as sad as any of the other points is that there are plenty in the black community who have bought and will continue to buy this DVD. You can bet there will be no shortage in sales and Aleem’s pockets will surely continue to get fat. For sure, there will be boys and men huddled around the TV watching this just as they do football–and probably with a similar level of enthusiasm.

This all adds up to an extremely disturbing commentary on the black community, or a segment of it at least, and a stark reminder that we still have so far to go.

*Hat tip to Carmen*


7 Responses to “Blood Money: Criminals Gone Wild”

  1. 1 SL December 16, 2007 at 1:52 am

    I was truly horrified when I saw the “cuts” for this “reality” film.
    I agree with your comments and would like to add that not only does this type of film glamorize crime, but it also objectifies the victims of that crime. I think that the victims are being re-victimized, and exploited by the camera as well as the viewers.
    And just for clarification, did the filmmakers stand by while people were being abused in front of them?

  2. 2 Carmen D. December 16, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Hey Mike, I like your blog. I’ll be reading regularly.

  3. 3 Mike December 16, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Good point about objectifying the victims–that is, if this is real crime in action which it seems to be. To answer your question, yes the filmmaker stood by while the crimes were in action. This is from the ABC article I linked to:

    “Aleem said he never encouraged anyone to commit a crime, but simply documented them when they occurred – not unlike the mainstream media. ‘I can’t be held accountable for anyone else’s actions. [The media] does the same thing everyday. No one drops their camera and calls the police, you keep shooting,’ he said.”

    So apparently he is excusing himself in the name of being a “reporter.” He is also careful to emphasize that he didn’t encourage anyone to commit a crime in an effort to save himself from being charged. Again, very sad.

  4. 4 R. M. December 17, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Ousala Aleem is either a fraud or an accessory to the “crimes” he filmed. Either way, I hope this a$$hole spends every cent he makes on his attorneys. And then, he should be locked away for life and gang-raped on a daily basis! This dip$hit$ mother must be so proud. As should the entire Black Community for allowing this filth.
    He can make a new series of DVDs in jail. And call it “Punk A$$ Bitch Gets Reamed”.

  5. 5 Ace December 18, 2007 at 1:36 am

    Thanks R.M. Finally someone else is outraged! Too bad more Blacks are not. Thus far, the majority of blacks either seem to be merely critical of Aleem for filming such criminal activity, or they are just sad about it. But let Don Imus say one wrong word about Blacks, or there is an injustice against six black students by Whites in Jena, the Black community wll scream loud enough to be heard across America.

    But if it’s black on black crime, there might be some whimpering criticism ‘here and there’, or some sadness ‘here and there’, but no national black outcries for justice even when the criminals are on film! Instead, the black community is angry at the messenger.

    What about all the Blacks buying the DVD’s that are flying off the shelves and making the filmaker rich? Is anyone angry at them? Oh, I forgot…they are the ones who are criticizing the messenger/filmaker for having a depraved mind.

    If Blacks weren’t buying, watching and talking about it, Aleem would be an unknown starving filmaker. But that’s not the case is it? Aleem’s pockets are fat because Blacks are buying and supporting the film—and then later discuss, complain, and blame Aleem for knowing what the black community will buy.

  6. 6 D. Hood June 11, 2008 at 8:48 am

    This dude is mad corny and by the way its my kids father. He don’t pay his child support on time or in full and only has to pay 200 a month. A 300,000 was made off this shit. Man keep it real dude. Take care of your kid.

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