The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival

The Hip Hop Project

D: Matt Ruskin, Scott K. Rosenberg

Making the case for artistic creativity as survival strategy, this inspiring documentary follows the life and works of Chris "Kharma Kazi" Rolle, a reformed troublemaker from the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, who discovered himself in hip-hop and then set out to help other at-risk kids do the same. Students in Kazi's Hip Hop Project, which he started in 1999 as an extension of New York City's Art Start program, learn to spin their troubles into self-expression on the microphone. For Kazi, a former petty thief and hustler, creativity and criminality are two sides of the same coin: To make powerful, personal, and revelatory works of art, you simply have to take all that misdirected energy and bend it toward the light. His argument is so convincing, Bruce Willis and rap mogul Russell Simmons buy into it, lending support both moral and financial. – Josh Rosenblatt

10/19, 7:15pm, Dobie; 10/24, 9:30pm, Drafthouse Lake Creek

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More by Josh Rosenblatt
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