Reviews and interviews


Number One With a Bullet

Documentary Feature, 24 Beats per Second
D: Jim Dziura

It's Beef meets Bowling for Columbine. Like the DVD series detailing rap rivalries, Number One features MCs such as G-Unit expat Young Buck and Cypress Hill's B-Real detailing harrowing encounters – here, with gun violence. And, like Columbine, it's an indictment of America's firearm obsession. However, its focus is far more scattershot. The usual – and unusual – culprits are fingered: Violence is fanned to fire up music sales (with defamed N.W.A Svengali Jerry Heller presented as exhibit No. 1); violence in the hood created a generation suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But the film leaves these and other avenues maddeningly unexplored – such as a Philadelphia ER where three or four young black men die every weekend, many tattooed with "Get Rich or Die Trying." Or the Last Mr. Bigg, a towering Alabama rapper shot four times in his head, who now wears a glass eye embedded with diamonds. That guy deserves his own movie.

Friday, March 20, 6pm, Paramount

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Number One With a Bullet, SXSW 2009

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