Los Angeles Film Festival: Evolution of a Criminal

UnknownThere were soooo many films to choose from, but they ones that intrigued me the most just happened to center around imprisonment and the price that is paid for those mistakes.

Evolution of a Criminal stuck a particularly strong chord with me.  You see, I realized that everyone has someone in their family that has been in jail whether they want to admit it or not.  Some of these family members may have gone to jail for protesting, petty larceny, felonies or maybe even murder.  Most of these family members look like they have been in the slammer more times than even they want to admit, but every once in a while you have a family member whose looks would never indicate they had ever been in a jail cell.

Darius Clarke Monroe is one of those family members.  You know the one you would never imagine committing a crime.  Evolution of a Criminal let us in ten years robbing a Bank of America and filmmaker Darius Monroe returns home to examine how his actions affected the lives of family, friends…and victims.

You see, Darius was not your typical criminal.  He was a smart, handsome young man from a family that worked their buns off and could barely make ends meet.  After an invading robbery that set the family’s circumstances back significantly, Darius decided to help his family mend financially by pulling of a heist.

The consequences were unimaginable and this young man found himself preparing for what he called a “living funeral”.  In the end,  Darius worked on his GED and college degree from prison.  He ultimately graduated from NYU film school and created this film produced by Oscar nominated filmmaker Spike Lee.

You see, not ALL black me that go to prison come out with the impetus to go back in or make nothing from their lives or mistakes.  Darius Clarke Monroe is the best example of how unconditional love of family can drive anyone to do things they would never imagine.  Think before you act…always.  The result of those actions could alter your life and send you in a direction you may not want to go.  Thank you Darius for sharing your story and I for one am proud that you are truly an example of what turning “poison into medicine” means.

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