The new documentary "Louder Than A Bomb" looks at a group of diverse high school students from Chicago who compete in the country's largest poetry slam. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
High School students competing, in teams, in the country's largest poetry competition is the subject of a new documentary. It's called "Louder Than A Bomb."
It's called a poetry slam and it's where over 600 teenagers from over 60 Chicago area high schools gather each year trying to win the coveted title.
The filmmakers document the 2008 competition, following four teams and their individual poets. We get to hear their backstories, several of which are quite turbulent, through interviews as well as on stage at the actual contest, through the power of their poetry.
Some of the kids are from inner city schools, while others are from affluent suburbs. But the poetry slam bridges the gaps between many of these students. In fact, it's a unifying factor.
The poetry that these teens recite is from the heart. It's often moving, very real and there's some extremely talented poets here.
As you would expect, the competition is taken extremely seriously by the participants and is inspiring at times. But the movie adhere's to a familiar formula, that we've seen in many other doc's like "Spellbound," which follows a few students who compete in spelling bees, or the more recent "Make Believe," where the focus is on a handful of high schoolers who vie for the title of Best Magician.
Your level of interest here will depend of how much you like poetry. But either way, you can't help being uplifted by kids, trying to honestly express themselves through this unique medium.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Three Apples