logobyline

twitter   facebook   cfyj donate   amazon smile instagramlogo

“They Call Us Monsters”: teenage boys facing life in prison become screenwriters

Juan Gamez has close-cropped, black hair and a baby face that remains expressionless except when he smiles. As a 16-year-old boy facing 90 years to life for first-degree murder, he seems to float somewhere above or below this fact, as do Antonio Hernandez and Jarad Nava, the other teenage boys awaiting similar sentences in Ben Lear’s moving documentary, “They Call Us Monsters,” a film that connects a 20-week screenwriting class inside Sylmar, a segregated unit for juveniles being tried as adults, with the passing of SB 260, legislation that grants youth serving life sentences the possibility of parole.