Run Time: 70 minutes
Give it up for Paul Kell's pulsing cinematic essay - a global survey and history of hip-hop in less time than it takes to hear a double-CD (take that, Ken Burns' "Jazz"). Hip-hop is a musical genre, a way of life, a fashion statement, a language, an economic and political force - even a religion, for some. Kell uncovers the movement's origins (did the first rhymes bust out in Detroit, the South Bronx, or the West Bronx?) and his different "chapters" cover graffiti, breakdancing, turntabling and rap battles, the latter depicted in features like "Eight Mile" and "hiphopbattle.com: Hip Hop for Life" (26th CIFF, 2002). International sound bytes/beats come from DJ Spooky, KRS One, Ollie Teeba in the UK, Germany's Kool Savas, Japan's DJ Krush, even gangsta-rap enemy #1, C. Delores Tucker. Things move so fast in this milieu that Puff Daddy became P.Diddy became a clothing label before this flick was finished. So get in line early; one subject predicts a hip-hop occupant of the White House.
Paul Kell, Jana Ritter