No Loans Today

USA | 1995 | 56 min

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For six days in 1992, riots destroyed the economic infrastructure and social community of South Central Los Angeles, after a jury acquitted Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of African-American motorist Rodney King. Filmed in the aftermath of the 1992 riots, NO LOANS TODAY counters stereotypes and mainstream media misconceptions with a strikingly intimate portrayal of the neighborhood once considered ground zero for urban decay, and the people that call it home.

Filmed in up-close interviews and cinema-verité scenes, NO LOANS TODAY documents daily life in the African-American community of South Central Los Angeles, following the lives of several people who've either chosen or been forced to remain in this community. From pawnbroker Herb Andrews, to Wanda Hosea, a grieving mother of a deceased gang member, to Aaron McCloud a young man growing up in the projects, the subjects of NO LOANS TODAY tell their stories in their own words and on their own terms.

At the center of the film, is the community's key financial institution --- the ABC Loan Co., a twenty-five year old pawnshop and checkcashing outlet. NO LOANS TODAY examines the relationship between pawnshops and checkcashing outlets - also known as "fringe banks" - to other economic problems that this community endures, such as crime and unemployment. The recent proliferation of fringe banks completes a cycle of economic marginalization that began when industries left the area and banks began to redline South Central against business loans.

Over two decades since the 1992 riots, the legacies of social and economic inequality remain. Portraying the pawnshop as a metaphor for survival, NO LOANS TODAY explores the devastating impact of economic and psychological marginalization, while revealing the unseen resiliency of the people of this community.

  • DIR Lisanne Skyler
    SCR Lisanne Skyler
    CAST Herb Andrews, Audrey Terrisa Cunningham, Wanda Hosea, Aaron "Twin" McCloud, Cherry McGary Davis, Art Armstrong, Johnnie Richardson