From 2000 to 2010, Columbia, S.C. was plagued with one of the deadliest gang feuds in history between the Gangster Killer Bloods, Gangster Disciples, and Insane Crip Nation. Gang violence was at an all-time high with South Carolina ranked first in violent crime for 10 years straight. In fact, the state had more murders than the populations of California and New York in 2007. Colors: Bangin’ in South Carolina is a documentary that uncovers the gang violence that took over Columbia for more than a decade. Through never-before-seen-footage of gangs, active gang member testimonials, and interviews with the police force that was put in place to eradicate and stop this violence, Colors exposes this dramatic era.

Documentary director and former gang leader Terrance Davis says he created this film to share with people his experiences with death, prison, and disloyalty as a result of the gang lifestyle he led for years. In 2010 he said enough is enough, received his college degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina, and in 2011 went onto grad school for film in New York City where he interned for Spike Lee and landed his big break. Executive producer Marcus McCall acknowledged the obstacles they ran into during production. “I would like to sum the production of Colors up with one word, but that is impossible. We started with the usual filmmaker problems like no budget, inexperienced help, and scheduling conflicts,” he says. Aside from those expected mishaps, the production crew received static from the film participants. “We received backlash from subjects in the film who were previously willing to participate,” McCall adds. “Those problems ranged from civil threats to death threats and everything in between.”

Both McCall and Davis were childhood friends who grew up in the Columbia neighborhood Maywood in the Summit. As for the end result, McCall is more than pleased with how the film turned out. “I am honored to be able to produce the most in-depth look into South Carolina’s violence ever to be released.”

The documentary will premiere at this year’s Manhattan Film Festival on July 1 at 5:30 p.m. For tickets, go here.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.