Louder Than a Bomb follows five Chicago high school teams as they prepare for the annual teen slam poetry competition that gives the documentary its name.
The burgeoning poets share their personal stories, turning their experiences into expressive rhymes sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Nova Venerable from Oak Park/River Forest High School produces alluringly crafted but raw autobiography about her intolerable father and special-needs younger brother. Her delivery and use of imagery takes the audience along for the definite emotional ride.
Nate Marshall from Whitney Young Magnet High School whips out witty wordplay even the most serious prune can’t ignore.
Adam Gottlieb from Northside College Prep uses an impeccable combination of incantation, rhythmic attacks and a nearly breathless recitation.
Surprise winners of 2007, Southside’s Steinmetz High School, belt out several did-that-just-really-happen poems that blow away both competitors and spectators.
Despite each individual’s monstrous talent, the students understand that the “point is not the points, the point is the poetry” –the competition’s motto. The art serves as a unifying force, bringing the city’s often segregated neighbourhoods together.
It’s nearly impossible to hold back tears after (or while) watching the documentary (I cried three times), which is directed by Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel. It exudes rhyming capabilities of world-class rappers and poets while maintaining the honesty of a child.
Here’s the run down:
Film style: documentary
What to love: everything
Where to watch: catch a screening of Louder Than a Bomb on April 16th at the Sprockets Festival