This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Lotfy Nathan.
Pug, a wisecracking 13-year-old living on a dangerous Westside block in Baltimore, has one goal in mind: to join The 12 O’Clock Boys, the city’s notorious urban dirt bike gang. Converging from all parts of the inner city, they invade the streets and perform dangerous stunts at high speeds. The gang has a history of clashing with the police, who are forbidden to chase the bikes for fear of endangering the public.
Pug looks to the pack for mentorship, spurred by their dangerous lifestyle. He narrates their world as if explaining a dreamscape, and this insight is complemented by unprecedented, action-packed footage of the riders in their element. The film presents the pivotal years of change in a boy’s life growing up in one of the most dangerous and economically depressed cities in the United States.
Director Lotfy Nathan followed Pug for three years over the course of the film’s production, documenting his transition from a witty and energetic boy to a teenager eager to find comradeship in a gang that prides in its recklessness and disregard for authority. Nathan does not pass judgement on the group’s activities; instead he gains up-close access to their high-suspense rides, following the mayhem through the eyes of a boy on the margins.
Directed by Lotfy Nathan