(Michelle Latimer, Canada). 67 minutes. Rating: NNN Alias chronicles the modest highs and lows of Alias Donmillion, Trench and a few other Toronto rappers. Drug- dealing, poverty and guns figure throughout, without an ounce of glamorization. In one scene, a tough-seeming rapper watches bad TV while scribbling rhymes, smoking a joint and sipping from a Hello Kitty mug.
Alkatraz is the most compelling rapper, alternately philosophical, defeated, hopeful, paranoid and soberingly realistic.
The rap showcase scenes are skimpy on actual performances and fail to celebrate the genre’s joyfulness, and in the end there’s no sense of whether these people are headed toward success, failure or a continued grind in the rap-trap.
The doc successfully exposes the grimy flip-side of the commercial hip- hop video, but in this case, more telling – through rhyme and verse – versus showing would have been welcome. JLC Apr 26, 7 pm, The Royal Cinema; Apr 28, 1 pm, Scotiabank Theatre 3; May 4, 8: 45 pm, Scotiabank Theatre 4.