SXSW Film Reviews: 'LICKS'

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Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Jonathan Singer-Vine; with Stanley "Doe" Hunt, Koran Streets, Tatiana Monet, Devon Libran, Les "DJ Upgrade" Aderibigbe

LICKS focuses on the story of one young man, D, whose largest adversary is recidivism and the vicious nature of inner-city America. D makes parole after serving two years for a robbery gone wrong, and immediately upon re-entry, his Oakland neighborhood threatens to swallow him up and spit him back into the prison system. The quicksand of bad influences and die-hard habits causes tension for character and audience alike, and gut-wrenching violence is served in plenty. Although fictional and likely authentic, the rough misogynistic street slang is frustrating and disturbing. Perhaps it is the realization that this sort of horrific scenario occurs daily that renders this film so raw, so unsettling. But just at the point you might consider giving up on the film, redemption appears. LICKS is a film to which you must commit fully: don't cover your eyes, don't walk out. Instead, relish in the hope that goodness exists and some individuals will find escape routes.

Friday, March 15, 11:15am, Alamo Ritz
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