If you feel like a badass when you pedal faster at the very first flicker of an amber traffic light then please sit back and allow the pre-teen boys in filmmaker Lofty Nathan’s first film, 12 O’Clock Boys to put you to shame. The film focuses on an urban dirt-bike gang of the same name in Baltimore, who pride themselves on the wheelies they pull. “They call them the 12 O’Clock Boys because they drop the bike straight back. If you get to 12 o’clock, you the shit.” The documentary’s main subject, Pug, is a bright kid from the westside who has grown up long before his time, and who will do anything to join to the riders in their traffic weaving, bike- racing brotherhood. “I’ve been on this earth for a decade and a couple years. So what that makes me? I’m a grown ass man.”
Filmmaker Lofty Nathan has undoubtedly found his niche in this startlingly dynamic coming-of-age story, whose realism wards off the usual heartbreaking subtext; instead of sentimentality, the documentary seeks to provide an objective perspective of a group of young men who have found common ground in the midst of Baltimore’s crushing economic depression and reputation for crime.
12 O’Clock Boys will be released in 2014.
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