Edward J. Olmos made his directorial bow with the powerhouse crime saga American Me. Olmos stars as street-gang leader Santana, who during his 18 years in Folsom Prison rules over all the drug-and-murder activities behind bars. Upon his release, Santana goes back to his old neighborhood, intending to lead a peaceful, crime-free life. But his old gang buddies force him back into his old habits. The omniprescene of the "Mexican Mafia" in the southwest is sufficient to make this film a daunting, demoralizing experience. Upon its release, American Me received a lot of press play due to the fact that Olmos shot his Folsom sequences on location, using actual prisoners as extras and bit players. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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I have seen American Me over the years many times. This is one of the movies that really portraits real Gang Life and real Prison Life. It sends a powerful message, which most people ignore or do not understand. This movie was filmed in real prisons (Folsom State Prison, CA), prisoners and prison guards. Several gang members were acquired to give their opinions when this movie was shot, which added the real life feel to it. I liked this movie because it shows kids growing up in the barrio, to grow up together in prison. There was one scene where it does get tuff to see, but overall this movie had everything. There are other titles that come close to American Me, like âBlood In, Blood Outâ and âMi Vida Locaâ. But Eddie Olmos did an awesome job with this movie. He should have received some type of National award.