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Our America back to product details

Tragically Unknown
written by ZenBones July 20, 2004 - 3:28 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This is a film that should have played in cinemas nationally for a long time, instead it was tucked into a few screenings on Showtime. It's a docudrama about two teenaged boys from the Chicago projects who reported on the state of their neighborhood for NPR (National Public Radio). I've seen some good films about life in the ghetto ("Slam" and "Fresh" among others) but they focus on the drugs/crime issue, and less on the day to day existence that most children have to endure. You can't understand the other issues until you see how some kids have to take care of their parents who are alcoholics or drug addicts, instead of the parents taking care of them. One can't even imagine living in high-rise buildings where elevators, toilets, and hall and stairway lights don't work, not to mention the infestation of rats and roaches. No wonder some kids think going to prison is a good thing. In terms of living conditions, it's a step up. Even the violence level there is about the same. Although this film is low budget and some of the acting seems amateurish, it's so raw and honest that you have complete empathy for everyone. Ernest Dickerson's cinematography is amazing as always, and he balances 'real life' with a style that accentuates reality instead of embellishing it. Please see this movie and tell your friends about it. It doesn't have the panache of Spike Lee's films, but its power resonates deeper, and I promise, the film is not a drag. It's very balanced and overall, gives us permission to hope. In fact I'll end this review from a quote from the movie, "I know you don't want to hear about the pain and suffering in that part of the city, but that part of the city is part of your city too.... I'm talking about all of us, living together, in our city, in our America. "


(Average 6.82)
11 Votes
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