Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra learned a lot of things during the year she shot Warrior Boyz, a documentary that offers an unflinching look at the lure and futility of gangster culture.
During filming, she observed that youth gang violence and organized criminal activity are two different things. The two are, however, linked by a very slippery slope, which makes early prevention crucial, she said.
That’s the message she hopes will come out of a panel discussion tonight at Kwantlen University on preventing youth from getting sucked into gangland.
Sangra’s film makes a strong case for the vital role support systems play in the youth development. Kids who are lost and trying to figure out where they fit in need someone in their corner, she said.
“There’s not really a stereotype anymore, and (the violence) hasn’t stopped,” Sangra said. “If anything it’s escalating.”
Supt. Dan Malo, head of B.C.’s Integrated Gang Task Force, and Wendy Dawson, lead prosecutor of Surrey Six, are among the people scheduled to participate in the panel and audience feedback session.
“I hope people see the personal stories and have a deeper understanding and compassion,” Sangra said. “Don’t give up on these kids.”