7.2/10
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6 user 2 critic

Afro-Punk (2003)

Afropunk: The 'Rock n Roll Nigger' Experience (original title)
Afro-Punk explores race identity within the punk scene. More than your everyday "Behind the Music" or typical "black history month" documentary, this film tackles hard questions, covering ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ralph Darden ...
Himself
Matt Davis ...
Himself
Maya Glick ...
Herself
Mariko Jones ...
Herself
Moe Mitchell ...
Himself
Bejay Rose ...
Black Punk
Tamar-Kali ...
Herself
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Storyline

Afro-Punk explores race identity within the punk scene. More than your everyday "Behind the Music" or typical "black history month" documentary, this film tackles hard questions, covering issues such as exile, loneliness, inter-racial dating and black power. We follow the lives of four people who have dedicated themselves to the punk rock lifestyle. They find themselves in conflicting situations, living the dual life of a person of color in a mostly white community. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music

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4 August 2007 (Japan)  »

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Afro-Punk  »

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Finding identity in the underground
10 June 2007 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

Great film about blacks in the punk and, in extension, rock scenes both of which are predominantly white. Despite the generally punk setting, this film is really about ethnicity not music though there is plenty of that too. The perspective that the film puts forth is very clear: being a minority group within a minority group and about identity within a group that glorifies itself in self-identity. I was surprised that the film was only an hour plus change but was incredibly dense and thought-provoking. Being Asian myself and having been part of the punk scene growing up, I felt very heartened that a lot of my own thoughts were talked about: personal and ethnic identity, identity within the scene, and finding an avenue to express ethnic identity inside and outside of the scene by breaking stereotype of what is "acceptable" as an Asian.

The only real negatives are technical ones: the DVD menus are kind hard to choose from when viewing on a computer due to a wonky cursor that they used and the sound in performances isn't hot either - no soundboard recordings, just miked stuff that comes out a bit distorted. On the flip side to that though, there are some good extras: live performances, trailer, commentary, deleted scenes and interviews.

Definitely a recommended watch and essential for ethnic folk in any music scene. Sadly though, even though it's been given good reviews (from what I've read), this documentary probably won't get much attention because of the general audience's unfamiliarity or disinterest with one aspect of its theme or both. It's noteworthy that this is the first effort of the director, James Spooner; I look forward to seeing whatever project he has next.

Music-wise, the documentary includes performances and interviews with members of Cipher, Dead Kennedys, Apollo Heights, Fishbone, Candiria, of course Bad Brains and more.


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