films that make a difference
“I wanted to make these films ‘cause I was seeing some things that were going on and I wanted change. By that I mean I wanted to at least touch someone who is in the position I was in, or who’s even worse off than I was. I feel I’ve done that in these films, showed people that they’re not alone and proved that you can make something out of nothing.
“For the younger ones who are impressed by what they see, I want to show them the other side, the damage it can do to their life and to their family’s life. I want them not just to think short-term but also to see long term - get educated, work hard for your dreams, and down the line your dreams will be fulfilled by your hard work. God bless.”
AJ Nakasila (aka Dieudonne Jacob Rosehart) 16 years old
London March 2007
In London alone, 27 teenagers were murdered in 2007. Statistics reveal that five children are injured in knife or gun attacks every day.
AJ Nakasila is a 17-year-old from the East End of London. He has made six short films - entitled An Eye 4 An Eye - about gangland revenge and how it affects the everyday lives of the friends who make up his close inner circle. Using video, still photograhs and his own music, AJ offers us a unique perspective on "life in the zones".
He asks what role revenge plays in the lives of young people growing up in the inner city and whether there is a way to break this endless cycle.
Born in Congo, AJ came to London when he was 3 years old. Having seen many of his friends fall victim to the cycle of revenge that put some in prison, others in hospital, and some in the grave, AJ collaborated with film-maker Katy Sheppard to make this series of films for the Channel Four Dispatches website. The films were then broadcast in the 3 Minute Wonder slot.
Trebla has been friends with AJ since they were six years old. He has learnt that revenge can become ingrained in people - they want to hurt others because they themselves are hurting. Now studying to go to university, he is breaking the cycle and moving on.