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Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind is all about Bronx Gangs in the 1970s
Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind was a short documentary-style program made for public television. Released in 1973, it illustrates the struggles of growing up and dealing with the increasingly violent world of the Bronx in the 1970s. This was a time when crime and gangs seemed out of control. But what was the cause? Did people facing it want a solution?
The answer was, of course, they did, and Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind attempted to give the young people trapped in this world the ability to speak to those outside of it.
In addition to young gang members and others caught in the crossfire of this dangerous world, we also hear from the education side of things.
We learn unsurprisingly, that it is difficult to get a cycle of education going when things seem hopeless due to an uncontrolled avalanche of crime, drugs, and violence. And that if people want things to be different, something deeper would have to change. This is something that I imagine is still applicable over four decades later.
The music used really helps to give Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind a sense of place and time. Shot on location on a low budget, you get to see New York City as it used to be. When I visit NYC now, it is hard to believe that this is even the same place.
Watch Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind Online
Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind would play intermittently on PBS in my area when I was a kid and I would watch it not fully comprehending how the stuff mentioned here was going on not too far from where I lived. It is a remarkable piece of history and well worth your time.
If this history intrigues you, I would also suggest you check out the more modern documentary Rubble Kings. A much older Karate Charlie from Ain’t Gonna Eat My Mind also makes an appearance to offer insight in retrospect.