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April 12, 2013 | posted in Filmmakers
Rapper, Actor and Reality TV Star Ice-T is Jorge Hinojosa’s friend and client. So when your friend needs some help, you just naturally step in, right? The two were working on a documentary project to keep them occupied during the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike. The strike ended faster than they thought, and suddenly Ice had to go back to work. He suggested Hinojosa take over.
“Had Ice’s schedule allowed him to direct this doc, I would have just been the producer,” says Hinojosa. “I decided to challenge myself and go for it.”
The film “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp” was Hinojosa’s “baptism by fire,” he says. “It was an experience that was thrilling and terrifying.” Ice-T is the executive producer.
Iceberg Slim’s 1969 memoir, Pimp: The Story of My Life, takes readers through his life—introduced to prostitution by his mother, but ultimately turned against it. With the help of his wife, he wrote his memoir, “which both artfully depicts the seedy underworld he inhabited and cautions readers against it,” says a Vanity Fair review.
Slim was a brilliant writer who overcame a horrible past ... racism, sexual abuse and prison. “He understandably lost his way,” says Hinojosa, “but was able to overcome it and use those experiences to write powerful and popular novels.”
Hinojosa knew he had to share Slim’s story with others. The film shows audiences “a world that most are not familiar with,” he says. Snoop Dogg, Bill Duke and Chris Rock make appearances in the film, along with archival footage and interviews with members of Slim’s family.
Hinojosa considers himself not so much the director of the film, but more as a storyteller. The story is truly “fascinating and inspiring”—to see a man’s transformation from pimp to writer.
“Imagine being inspired by a pimp ... you have to see it to believe it!” says Hinojosa.
—Anne M. DiTeodoro
Photo by Janet Macoska
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