All My Enemies

All My Enemies

Tensions among gangs and with Los Angeles police create a domestic battlefield in Watts, where they all agree on one thing: It’s war. (VII)

Police officers say the southeast Los Angeles gang unit is the closest thing to their experience as combat soldiers in Iraq. The battles in Watts play out between the police and gangs as well as between the gangs themselves and all agree – it’s war.

This gritty video by VII is a behind-the-scenes look at the warfare in Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood, from the streets to the hospital rooms to the funeral homes. The environment is fraught with fear and hostility and one young man says the hardest thing about living here is staying alive.

The video is framed around the funeral of a gang member, but it is not a character-driven story. Rather it’s a smattering of disquieting photographs and interviews with gang members, police officers and the director of a gang intervention program.

Formed in 2001, VII is a collectively-owned photo agency designed to be a distribution hub for high-quality photojournalism.


Length: 9:00

Photographs and Video: Ron Haviv
Producer: John Santerre
Editor: Sandra Luckow
Music: Mr. Dilligence