Inspired by actual murders, and set amidst
the crack trade in Philadelphia, CORNER WARS examines the modern
meaning of the American Dream through the precarious lives of the dealers
and users of illegal drugs. The benign concept of the after school job is
rendered dangerous in this, an era in which a child is more likely to gain
experience and employment with the corner crack dealer than the local shop
owner. In a time of a decaying urban economy, we are presented with a
Philadelphia of few choices and even less money. At least, that is what the
dealers hope the locals will believe and accept as their undeniable reality.
Surely, economics do play a part. In
CORNER WARS, we meet scores of folks who have been hit hard. They have
turned to drugs for comfort or for commerce, and most seem to want a way
out. With few options, looming violence, and ever-younger generations vying
for a crate on the corner, the overall message is that drugs, the
underground economy, and the ramifications of the new reality mean that
there are many questions, but no solutions.
The social workers, and even the police are
useless in CORNER WARS. They make appearances, in lieu of any
parents, but they are ineffective or simply na´ve. The kids generally have
plans ranging from business school (funded by crack sales) to simply
maintaining their position in the neighborhood. Here, however, the dreams
are dark, and generally depressing even when fulfilled.
is dank by design. Sometimes feeling like a High School play, but sincere in
content, it is a powerful commentary on the lives that are youth are living
in these days of indecision.
- Kessa De Santis