Boyz in the Hood
Most movies about life in Los Angeles and New York City's rough neighborhoods -- and life in other urban areas of the U.S. -- are discounted as novelty entertainment for audiences who want to see sex and violence. On the heels of a time when gangster rap offers nationwide exposure of issues in Black and Latino communities, director John Singleton and the Hughes Brothers here follow in the footsteps of Spike Lee.
Focusing on one Black community, the film offers an intricate examination of archetypes and stereotypes of men, women, and children who live in "the hood," as well as an introduction to its survivors -- some of whom are trapped in cycles of violence; others escape it.
The film's direction is fluid and natural, the acting heartfelt and strong, the affect extraordinary. The human aspects and the characters are solid and approachable, and rooted in highly intellectual and applicable theories on race and violence, making the movie's message deeper than that of gangs of ethnic whites. This film showcases radical and moderate themes expressed by black activists, with Fishburne's character the leader and a role model in the film. A careful examination of the film reveals a strong message and a strong film. Don't underestimate this film's power.
Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Angela Bassett,
Life in U.S. ghettos; positive messages for Black Americans
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