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Critic Reviews for Slam
Part gritty prison drama, part inner-city chronicle, the energetic Slam defies easy categorization, serving as a compelling plea for black males of how to survive in oppressive society. The film won the 1998 Sundance Jury Award for Best Drama.
Audience Reviews for Slam
A brilliant masterpiece of independent black cimema. This was a film that had a strong cast(real-life poet Saul Williams and also Sonja Sohn of HBO's The Wire) with compelling subject matter complete with a killer soundtrack(featuring the sounds of the DC "go-go" and other artists)not to mention some of the most capitvating over-the-top rap poetry ever witnessed.
All set within the most corrupt city in America--our nation's capital.
The fiction element of the film, instead of driving Levin to deeper truths, delivers him toward triteness and manipulation.
How can you use your passion for good? Ray Joshua, the main character in the adequate movie "Slam", played by Saul Williams, uses his passion of poetry in ways where he does not only benefit himself, but he also reaches out to other people. Ray Joshua lives in the tough streets and sold weed to keep his self alive and surviving. One day while he was trying to make a play, his dealer gets shot unexpectedly. From everyone else's point of view it looks like Ray Joshua was the one who shot him. When Ray tries to run, the police catch up and send him to do time. While in prison Ray learns a few things about himself, including how he can use poetry to stop violence.
The movie suggests that everyone should use their talents for good. They shouldn't let everything around them define them. Ray Joshua was surrounded by violence, and drugs all the time because he was a drug dealer himself. He didn't define himself as a criminal; he defined himself as a man from the streets who sells drugs to survive. During the movie Ray says that he shouldn't be locked up just for selling drugs. "There are people who are doing things way worse who should be locked up!" He suggest that the police are wasting their time trying to get Ray locked up.
My favorite part of the movie was the prison scene where Ray Joshua is lonely, and two rival gangs approach each other about to fight and Ray uses his poetry to calm them down and stop. I feel like I can relate to Ray personally because I also write poetry like he does. I use it for something just more than entertainment. I would recommend this movie to anybody and everybody. It is a good and interesting movie from the beginning to end.
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