Lives in Hazard


From director Andrew Young: "Lives in Hazard" is a tough, uncompromising look at kids in gangs and the men they become in prison. Filmed in the barrios of east LA and in the prisons of California, this real-life drama follows the making of the Hollywood feature film American Me, in which director Edward James Olmos used real gang members and prison inmates as actors. The fictional scenes these homeboys portray pale in juxtaposition to the stark reality of their daily lives, a world where opportunities are scarce and guns plentiful. The brutal honesty of these gang members as they struggle to change makes "Lives in Hazard" a powerful story of kids caught up in a growing national crisis.

EJO's Role

Edward James Olmos hosts, appears in and produces this documentary, which was shot in conjunction with his feature film directorial debut American Me.

The Numbers

"Lives in Hazard" premiered on July 22, 2002 at the Latino International Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Buy on Blu-Ray or DVD

The documentary is available on the American Me DVD:

Lives in Hazard
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  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival: Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for Documentary
  • 1995 Directors Guild of America: Nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary/Actuality


My Take

I only have this to say: "Lives in Hazard" is an eye-opener. Watch it.

Oh, and if you own American Me on DVD you're in luck; the documentary is in the bonus features.

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EJO began his entertainment career as lead singer of a band called Pacific Ocean.


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