TERRANCE PITTS | YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE
The feature-length documentary You Only Live Once takes a fresh and probing look at gun violence in urban America. Told through the stories of families impacted by loss and young men who are struggling to leave violence behind, You Only Live Once takes a close look at the deeply rooted causes and devastating impact of gun violence in three urban communities. Yet the film does not dwell on loss. You Only Live Once follows the paths of young men who have transformed their lives after being caught in a cycle of street violence. The film reveals the pivotal moments that pushed these young men to renounce violence and thrust them on journeys to becoming leaders and role models in their communities. In examining stories told from the perspective of individuals who have lost loved ones due to gun violence, crime witnesses, violence prevention outreach workers, and mental health and medical experts, the story interrogates how the promise of American democracy has left many young Black and Latino men by the wayside. The story begins with the director’s personal encounter with gun violence. While filming a summer basketball tournament in a Brooklyn public housing project in 2013, his life changed after witnessing the aftermath of the shooting of four teenagers.