NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Festival Reviews -

(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.

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