This doc has an endearing subject: six teens from Yorkshire, all mixed race or from an ethnic minority, travel to Washington DC to represent the street poetry group Leeds Young Authors at the Brave New Voices slam competition in the city. These kids are hugely charismatic: there’s Saju, a lad of Bangladeshi origin who is super-smart and always laughing, and Maryam, who raps for laughs about how people perceive her hijab. Their lines are political and brave. But this so-so film does them a disservice. It’s chaotic, meandering and never gets close to describing the strange experience of these kids travelling across the world to express themselves to American judges and among their American peers. Instead, the film tries too hard to wrest some easy drama from the contest itself and offers too few insights.
Friday June 29 2012
Daniel Lucchesi, Alex Ramseyer-Bache