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Brick City Might Just Punch You in the Gut


The Sundance Channel has something really special, powerful, and moving that you need to check out if you can. It's called Brick City.

Brick City is the nickname for Newark, New Jersey. Like many American cities, Newark has experienced decades of decline, but is ready for rebirth. This rebirth comes from the people who live and die in Newark and Brick City follows their struggles and triumphs over five hour-long episodes, filmed during the summer of 2008.

I watched the first episode last night and was especially moved by the story of Jayda and Creep. The couple has a self-described Romeo and Juliet relationship: Jayda rose through the ranks of the Bloods and Creep through the Crips. The two gang-members-turned-youth-counselors met while working in AmeriCorps and their similarly rough backgrounds paved the way for them to overcome their differences and fall in love.

Jayda has an outstanding warrant for a parole violation from a few years ago. She had figured that it was mostly forgotten about, but the authorities are starting to pressure her to turn herself in. This is particularly upsetting for Jayda considering how much she's turned her life around: she has a steady job, she's an excellent mom to her young son, she and Creep are madly in love and expecting a baby. In one scene, Jayda talks with family about how she knows that turning herself in is the right thing to do, but she doesn't want to be in jail when her son graduates from pre-K in a few days. In a later scene that had me in tears, Jayda puts on a happy face when she drops her son off at school and tells him that she has to go take care of some business. Holding Creep's hand and rubbing her belly, she turns herself into authorities.

The series also closely follows the efforts of Newark's young mayor, Cory Booker, and police director, Garry McCarthy. The two are committed to getting the crime rates down and helping Newark's inner city residents to reclaim their streets. Their approach is not to instill fear and rule with iron fists, but to rather talk to the people committing crimes and working with them to figure out ways to end violence and to prevent Newark's children from entering gangs.

The series will run the next four nights at 10 p.m. on the Sundance Channel. Here's a promo:

Sundance Channel

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Brick City sounds terrific. Sorry I missed it last night (totally spaced). If I have Sundance on demand, I should be able to catch up.


I just set up my DVR to record the series - Thx!


Ran downstairs to set the DVR,thanks for the tip.Sundance always has the most interesting series


come on, netflix on demand!! been dying to see this since i read about it 2 weeks ago...

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