“Camden is the poster child of post-industrial decay.”
Camden, New Jersey has always been one of the most dangerous cities in America — in 2012 it had the highest rate of violent crime for cities of its size. “Camden is the poster child of post-industrial decay,” said journalist Chris Hedges in a 2010 essay. Yet director Steve Ercolani had grown up less than 5 miles from this strange, third-world city with a wildly different experience. He wanted to know why. The result is this film, PYNE POYNT.
On a set of corridors nicknamed Heroin Highway, the young men and women of the North Camden Little League navigate the hazards of the drug trade to come to and from the sandlot at Pyne Poynt Park. The league plays a vital role in creating change in the struggling community of North Camden by bringing families, coaches, and children of all ages together.'
In PYNE POYNT, multiple voices converge as one to tell their community’s story — from the formerly incarcerated drug dealers turned baseball coaches to the hardened cops who are re-trained to guard the public safety with compassion and empathy. League president Bryan Morton’s crusade transforms Pyne Poynt Park from a drug-infested battlefield into a field of dreams and for a few sacred hours, the crack of a bat and the laughter of children for a moment replace the sounds of gunfire and the call of drug dealers. When crime statistics and open-air drug markets make a significant drop, former President Barack Obama proudly holds Camden up as a “symbol of promise for the nation.“