Los Punks: We Are All We Have aims its lens into LA’s underground Latinx backyard punk scene of 2016. Director Angela Boatwright delivers a spiritual sequel to The Decline of Western Civilization, yet her subjects’ stories are told with the heart-tugging techniques of reality TV.
In between scenes of raging mosh pits, police busts, and glorious mohawks, the film follows several primary characters. There is April, the 15-year-old show promoter. Nacho, the singer of Corrupted Youth, who opens for his favourite band, the Casualties. Most emotional is the story of Alex, the singer of Psyk Ward, who transcends his mental health struggles to become a cook.
As they talk and sing openly about the difficulties in their community, the members of this DIY scene bond like family. That’s necessary when the punks are faced with criticisms like the devastating dad burn that Alex’s pop drops in the film’s closing scenes: “I just hope some of these people get a job so they can buy your album!”