Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer (2011)
Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1
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"Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer" could be slicker, but it does its part in sharing in its central figure's project of recording the living history that surrounds us.
Ahearn works at a distinct disadvantage: Present to document the book's reception rather than its genesis, he has no direct access to the vibrant past about which his subjects reminisce, leaving him to merely coast on the iconography of Shabazz's work.
Ahearn hits all of the usual suspects, from Fab 5 Freddy on down, but his celebration of Shabazz inevitably takes on the tone of requiem.
The resulting film is low-key and, at least as far as its subject is concerned, decidedly uncritical.
There are many potent sequences where old-school B-boys look through Shabazz's work and see friends they knew -- and sometimes lost -- a lifetime ago.
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