BY THE DAYTONA TIMES STAFF
A locally-produced movie shot almost exclusively in Black Daytona Beach and uploaded to YouTube is about to make waves throughout Volusia County, and possibly worldwide.
“Daytona Beach: The Other Side of the Bridge” was produced by 100,000 Arts production company and directed by Jared Thompson and Jodeci Devinchy. It runs about 41 minutes.
It focuses on a slice of Black life in Daytona’s toughest streets, located mostly in the 32114 zip code in which 32 percent of the area’s population (including 53 percent of the children under 18 years of age) lives below the U.S. government’s official ‘poverty line.’
The movie is a stark counterpoint to Daytona Beach’s 386 area code “Fun Coast” marketing campaign, and won’t please city officials or local business and development organizations.
Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry as well as Rell Black, a local community activist and Daytona Times guest columnist, provide commentary in conjunction with “man on the street”-style interviews.
Guns, violence, cash and drugs are prominently cited throughout.
“I haven’t been able to properly attract new businesses and new economic vibrance to the core of the city,” Henry explained. “The core of the city is where…my passion really lies…I always wanted to see our community come together spiritually, educationally, and politically.
However, many of those interviewed spoke about being unwanted, trapped or hopeless. They rap about turning to street life – particularly to low-level drug-dealing – as a way to keep money in their pockets.
On a more positive side, the movie also mentions local athletes and serves as a promotional showcase for local rap talent.
Thousands of views
“The Other Side of the Bridge” was uploaded to YouTube on New Year’s Day and as of the Daytona Times’ Wednesday night press time, had amassed more than 26,000 views.
Much of the movie was shot almost exclusively on or around local locations familiar to Black Daytonans, including Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard, referred to as “the Ave,” Madison Avenue, and South Street.
The movie includes footage from “Doo and Dre Day,” an informal yearly remembrance of Jerrod Swinton and Quor’dre Wiley, two cousins who were killed in separate violent confrontations. Over the years, the event has become a flashpoint between the Daytona Beach Police Department and thrillseeking motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders racing through local streets.
Local rappers are also featured, including Lukk 500, Florida G, Bossman Jizzle, Cheese Santana, Lil Wavy, Yella Gang Keebo, Lil Northside, Clucc Da Don and others.
“Daytona Beach: The Other Side of the Bridge” is rated R, mostly for language. Go to https://daytonatimes.com for the YouTube link to see the entire movie.