Writer/director John Singleton burst onto the scene in 1991 with Boyz N the Hood, a stunning drama that chronicled African-American life in South-Central Los Angeles. The film follows three very different young friends (portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, and Ice Cube) as they each attempt through varying means to escape the violence-filled life of the streets.
Here’s a 1991 interview with Oprah Winfrey in which Singleton discusses the film’s real-life inspirations:
Filmed on a budget of less than $7,000,000, the film became a smash hit upon its release in the summer of 1991, and helped rocket Singleton into the Hollywood limelight — where he continued to detail the African-American experience on film until his tragic and untimely passing earlier this week. Boyz n the Hood also earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Here’s the film’s original trailer:
In the below interview, John Singleton further discusses his creative process:
As visceral and raw today as it was nearly 30 years ago, Boyz n the Hood is a contemporary American classic whose director contributed so much to our culture during his too-brief life.