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Black Picket Fence (2002)

Black Picket Fence is director's Sergio Goes' poignant portrait of the bleak realities of life in the public housing projects of Brooklyn's East New York, one of the inner city's most ... See full summary »

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Mel ...
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Tislam Milliner ...
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Kool G. Rap ...
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Black Picket Fence is director's Sergio Goes' poignant portrait of the bleak realities of life in the public housing projects of Brooklyn's East New York, one of the inner city's most dangerous and violent neighborhoods. Culled from nearly two years of filming, the documentary's candid interviews, lyric moments of grim beauty, and powerful verite footage takes us beyond the usual stereotypes of the rap world and into the life of Tislam Milliner, a struggling rapper who's ambitious to make it out of the "hood". At the age of 25, Tiz is considered a survivor. Through intimate vignettes of the Milliner family, Tiz's close-knit crew, his pregnant girlfriend, his overzealous manager, and his mentor, the legendary Kool G Rap, Tiz's hopes and the quiet despair of his "book of life filled with pain" gradually emerge. Tiz's best friend Mel is a veteran of the "drug game" and has spent some part of every year in prison since he was twelve. Now, he's out. But with little hope of breaking the ... Written by Anonymous

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2 May 2002 (USA)  »

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Cerca de Jardim Negra  »

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Bleak realities at a surplus
11 April 2005 | by (Belle Vernon, PA) – See all my reviews

An ambitious if not somewhat unfocused project. Perhaps the lack of focus actually stem from the subjects atavistic passions. Trying to tow the tightrope between the drug life and the rap life. Both of which launch the venal desires of the subjects:The lure of fast, substantial Brooklyn.

The subjects are awash in contradiction and contempt for their eluding desire for respect on a Messiahanic level along with all of the accouterments of the rich without any concept of the basic get-a-job work ethic because all the available jobs pay low wages. If any mention was made about getting an education, I missed it. Just a straight line to big sums of money.

I felt their sense of hopelessness and little love. Still, I came away with a pondering over why little effort was made to find a middle ground.

For me, the saddest aspect was main subject's son being born. Here is a child that stands every chance of being a victim of the environment he lives in. Unless, of course, his father busts out as a big name in the rap business, can escape the drug trade on the streets and find a safer environment to live.

I think it is a well-made movie but, for me, it contained a time-worn theme. We know how harsh life is on the streets and in the "hood." It has been beat to death with countless rap songs, similar documentaries, and films, forming a genre among themselves.

Perhaps closer examination as to why things are the way they are and an ardent search for subjects in that environment who are trying a different path would better serve the residents of the section of Brooklyn, New York where the documentary was filmed.

I'd give it a miss because it is entirely too bleak.


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