Posted on: July 1, 2024 Posted by: Christina Bronner Comments: 3

A Cinematic Plea: “Put the Guns Down” Shines at Marina del Rey Film Festival


By: Latoya A. Vickers


“Put the Guns Down” is not just a statement or a movement. It stands out as a highlight of the Marina del Rey Film Festival. The film, executive produced, narrated by, and starring Ice-T, is directed by Terry C. Carney Sr. This powerful documentary delves into the pervasive issue of gun violence in the United States, with a particular focus on South Central Los Angeles.


The narrative begins with the Watts Rebellion and traces the trajectory through the crack cocaine epidemic, culminating in the present day. The story is told through the lens of survivors who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Their stories reveal that no one is exempt—mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons share their experiences. These personal accounts transform those lost to violence from mere pictures on posters or names on paper into real people who lived and loved.

Terry C Carney-director, Donna Johnson-victim’s mother, JSean Fanning-victim’s brother

One notable survivor, Gilbert Alexander, shares his own harrowing experience, offering a poignant, firsthand perspective on the impact of gun violence. The film features appearances from Ice-T, Terry C. Carney Sr., Spice 1, Chilly Chill, Kokane, Big LV from “Gangsters in Paradise,” DJ Quick JR, Alonso Williams, Compton’s Most Wanted’s Tha Chill, Lawanda Hawkins, Coach Cornell Ward, and Aqeela Sherrills.


Exploring the Impact of Gun Violence

The documentary addresses various facets of gun violence. The roles played by the government, community, and mental health in this ongoing epidemic are explained. The creation of gangs to mimic the U.S. government’s structure, supposedly to keep Black communities down, is explored. Through the depiction of a single death, viewers are shown how many more lives are either taken or irrevocably changed. This holistic approach underscores the far-reaching consequences of each act of violence. This complex dynamic raises the question: Is art imitating life or merely serving as entertainment?


The Economic Angle

Gilbert Alexander-gun violence survivor, Terry C Carney- Director, Roderick-Sr-director


An underlying theme is the economic impact of gun violence. The film questions who benefits financially from the perpetuation of violence, suggesting that the death of Black individuals often results in financial gains for others. This critical perspective invites viewers to consider the broader implications of gun violence beyond immediate physical harm.


When asked about his motivation for creating the film, Terry Carney explained, “I do it for the community, for those who have lost their loved ones. I’m trying to help the communities and bring back some peace, love, and happiness. Showcasing it here is a beautiful thing… I’d love to get this in schools too.”


A Call to Action

Cortlyn Bridges-mother to gun violence victim

“Put the Guns Down” is more than a documentary; it is a call to action. Viewers are challenged to think critically about the environments in which children are expected to thrive and the systemic changes needed to foster safer communities. By the movie’s last frame, the film’s emotional depth and factual breadth provide a comprehensive view of the gun violence epidemic, urging viewers to contemplate and act against the scourge of gun violence.

Join the Conversation

We love to hear from you, leave a comment in the section below and spread the word.

Connect with Terry C. Carney, Sr. 

  • Follow on Instagram
  • Watch the official trailer here
  • Ice-T’s promo here (age verification required).


“Put the Guns Down” is Produced by Platinum City Golden West Entertainment, this film stands as a testament to the power of storytelling in advocating for social change. 

3 People reacted on this

  1. This is an award winning film 🎥! It’s already won at The Marina Del Rey Film Festival and The International Independent Film Festival! If you haven’t seen this film I suggest looking for the latest listing’s from Platinum City Golden West Entertainment’s website! This film was absolutely amazing! Good Job Upscale Magazine for covering this one!

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