Slam (1998)

7 10 100
Slam (1998)
Opis: Ray Joshua is a young, drifting African-American from Southeast Washington DC who is into both small time drug-dealing (marijuana) and hip-hop versifying, his gift of gab on call for special occasions from friends like Big Mike, a big shot in a tough neighborhood called Dodge City. When Mike is shot with Ray beside him, cops who saw the hit arrest Ray, who--while not the shooter--is still clapped into D.C. Jail for possession of marijuana. Ray's introduction to the world of incarceration is stark and unfeeling: he is hounded by a mouthy inmate, lectured by stern guards, and told by a public defender that his plea options--as a poor black guy from Southeast--are all bad. Psychologically and physically, every part of him wants to break out, and Ray finally does break out verbally, spilling a cascade of poetry into the jail yard which stops the homies in their tracks. His performance is witnessed by Lauren Bell, a literature teacher at the jail who wants him to join her poetry class. She, however, has to cancel the class due to lack of funding, but she still asks him to look her up on the outside. When one tough inmate Hopha befriends him, Ray is able to make bail and look up Lauren. The two come to share their poetry passion and more, but Ray still must face his upcoming charges and his dilemma about admitting his crime--and ultimately doing time. Ray revisits Dodge City in the role of a peacemaker for the beleaguered community, and, with Lauren's help, he carries off a triumphant slam riff at a downtown DC club, a success that signals the possibility of a different future. The film ends ambiguously, with Ray slowly approaching a ghostly Washington Monument.
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