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Louder Than a Bomb (2010)

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By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, Louder Than a Bomb follows the fortunes of four Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam.


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Credited cast:
Kevin Coval
Adam Gottlieb
Elizabeth Graf
Kevin Harris
John Hood
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Peter Kahn
Jésus Lark
Nate Marshall
She'Kira McKnight
Preye Porri
James Sloan
Charles Smith
Robbie Q. Telfer ...
Nova Venerable


Hailed as "one of the most inspiring and exhilarating documentaries in years" (Steve Pond, The Wrap), Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. Louder Than a Bomb is not about "high school poetry" as we often think of it. It's about language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems-and what they get out of them-is universal: the defining work of finding one's voice. Written by Greg Jacobs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

slam poetry | See All (1) »





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Release Date:

25 March 2014 (Netherlands)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,881 (USA) (10 June 2011)


$40,362 (USA) (10 June 2011)

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Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.16 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

6 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Louder Than A Bomb follows a few select groups of teenagers as they prepare for and then compete in a local spoken word poetry competition. As we watch them pursue their dreams, we share their laughter, their tension, their emotional suffering, their excitement and joy. This would be a great story in and of itself, except the story is not played out by actors but by real people living their real lives (think Hoop Dreams), making this sports story of sorts all the more engaging. We grow to know these teenagers and by the end we come to realize that the contest itself is actually irrelevant, that they have all matured by the experience and that they are all winners. Still, the excitement of the actual competition scenes, where these young poets are exhibiting more poetic talent than can be found within the pages of most of the so-called accepted poets, is nothing short of breath taking. This film is the definitive response to anyone who refuses to recognize the twenty-five year old poetry slam movement. The miracle of that movement is that even after all this time it still remains fresh, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Louder Than A Bomb.

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