Filmmakers Bobby Marvin Holmes and Justin Gladden Release “Free Young Blood,” a Documentary About the Mass Incarceration of Black Men
Baltimore, MD – Many consider young Black males to be under a state of emergency. The mass incarceration of Black males has become a growing concern and highly debated in many socio-political arenas. Yet, two important questions remain: What is the cause of it? and How do we stop it?
Just two days before the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore filmmakers Bobby Marvin Holmes and Justin Gladden recently released “Free Young Blood,” the highly anticipated follow-up to their documentary on youth violence prevention, “Live Young Blood.” This latest film examines the contributing causes of mass incarceration like high-risk behavior, the intersectionality of race & poverty, and America’s drug policy. The film wrestles with the leading factors and provides insight from advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and youth/young adult black males impacted by the issue. The film goes a step further by shedding light on community leaders and supportive programming dedicated to addressing the issue head-on.
In an article in The Baltimore Sun the Baltimore natives commented:
Holmes and Gladden started filming “Free Young Blood” soon after protests and a night of rioting broke out in the city after Gray’s death. Though they had been in preproduction for months and the subject of the documentary had been cemented, the unrest influenced its narrative.
“It didn’t shape our decision to make the film, but it inevitably steered it in that direction, because it just had to,” Gladden said. “It’s kind of like, you can’t address incarceration and not address the war on drugs and zero-tolerance policy.”
Though each of the duo’s films has a distinct topic, the centerpiece to all of them is poverty and lack of opportunity, Holmes said.
Free Young Blood: Combating the Mass Incarceration of Young Black Males, doesn’t introduce the conversation, it provides the context needed to continue to push the conversation forward. A panel discussion with community leaders and experts followed the premiere screening.
Read about the compelling documentary in The Baltimore Sun here.