“Brace yourself for a slam-dunk of a movie . . . [Slam] makes Godard’s Breathless look like a cartoon. . . . Independent filmmaking could find no higher ground than a film with an innovative style and social conscience that delivers the message: art redeems life.”The Hollywood Reporter
978-0-8021-3575-9 • $14.00 • Paperback • Oct. 1998
Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Marc Levin, Slam is a gritty, inspiring portrait of urban poverty and the redemptive power of art. Set in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City and in the infamous Washington, D.C., city jail, Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, a talented young poet and rapper who is busted on petty drug charges and sucked into the black hole of the criminal justice system. In jail, Ray meets Lauren, a volunteer teaching a writing class for the prisoners. She encourages Ray to use his gift to give voice to the anguish of a generation of young men who have been thrown away. And this book is more than just a screenplay. It also contains the poetry featured in the film, as well as behind-the-scenes filmmakers’ and actors’ diaries telling the story of the making of Slam in a two-week guerilla shoot inside the walls of the D.C. jail and on the killing streets of the Anacostia housing projects in southeast Washington, D.C.