To Baltimore residents the 12 O’Clock Boys are hooligans, a group of black bikers who like to do wheelies at high-speed weaving in and out of through traffic and impressively evading the hamstrung police who must adhere to a no-chase policy in order to maintain public safety. Yet they are heroes to Pug, a bright, young adolescent living in the city’s dangerous Westside neighborhood with his charismatic mother Coco, extended family, and a menagerie of animals to which he tends in his long-standing hope to one day become a veterinarian. Yet as his obsession with the 12 O’Clock Boys grows, his desire to join the bikers begins eclipsing everything else in his life, to Coco’s dismay.
During a period of three years New York-based filmmaker Lofty Nathan followed Pug up close, and attempted to answer his questions about Pug’s motivations and fascination for outlaws, navigating the rapid-fire pace of gang life, police chases and gang members’s melodramatic declarations about the difficulties of life and the sweetness of those rare, enlightening moments that make us who we are.
In and of itself, Nathan’s documentary becomes also an action film and a take on the coming-of-age story.
Nathan has been taking his movie on the road internationally. He earned HBO’s Emerging Artist Award. “The 12 O’clock Boys” will be released early next year.
– WATCH the trailer