The comedian-writer-director-producer Louis C.K. has just released on his website the 2016 film Check It, which follows a black gay gang by the same name around the violent and prejudice streets of Washington D.C. And no, it’s not fiction—it’s a documentary.
“Check It is the only documented and known gay gang in America, maybe in the world,” a voice-over says in the trailer. The movie focuses on four close friends within the gang and their efforts to break the cycle of poverty through fashion.
The movie received rave reviews when it debuted in the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Among those in the audience: Louis C.K.
“It knocked me right over,” he said in an email to subscribers. “It was an amazing emotional ride. It was funny and moving, I learned a lot and it gave me a lot to think about after.”
C.K. loved the resilient characters of the movie and the family they create to protect themselves and each other.
“They started this gang to protect each other,” he wrote. “They made a family where they didn’t have one.”
Louis C.K., who is neither black nor gay nor from Washington D.C., found universal themes in the movie that resonated with him. “What made me love it was just the kids themselves,” he explained. “They are like any kids, like anyone’s children. They are trying to cope against terrible odds, they are funny and full of hope and life. Their lives are difficult and complex.”
The movie is available on his website for $5.