Thursday, December 14, 2006

hard yakka

8691_hard yakka.jpg
Originally uploaded by thomask.
after seeing an exhibition at bus gallery, where s2art, barb and scootie had some pictures involved in the "discarded objects poster project", jo and i went and saw the doco "rampage", by aussie director george gittoes. "rampage" is kind of the sequel to "soundtrack to war", but really the only connection is lil 'E, the rapper in "soundtrack" who has three brothers back home in the miami housing estate, brown sub.

lil' E feels safer in iraq than in brown sub, and after several shootouts involving handguns, AKs and shotguns, you can see why. predictably perhaps, one of the brothers gets killed, an event possibly precipitated by the presence of the filmaker. something george struggles with, and which leads him to spirit the boys out to australia for some R&R, and a healing session with an aboriginal elder (slightly tacky).

denzel (aka demo, the youngest at 14 and the main focus of the film) makes the telling comment, "australia is the only place i know where you know that people coming up behind you aren't carrying a gun". he returns to the US to secure himself a record deal, and thus a means out of brown sub, but the producers in NY and miami are reluctant to release a record that isn't age appropriate (i.e., people don't want to hear a 14 year old kid rapping about gun fights, drug deals, sex acts and losing a brother to turf wars). as the pastor at the church screams, "wake up!". finally one producer, ethiopia, encourages demo to keep rapping his life story as he sees it, without the commercial spin, but it's unclear whether he actually gets a deal with her or not.

we're kind of left hanging at the end, with george cutting back to images of US tanks rolling down iraqi streets amongst burnt out cars, corpses and terrorised locals. hopefully demo gets his break, he deserves it.

emerging from the cinema feeling shocked (war zone in miami) and awed (at demo's talent), it was great to see this lady perched up on the bench of a payphone having a good old natter to someone. normality is underrated sometimes, but i like it.

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