6.7/10
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Snow on Tha Bluff (2011)

R | | Crime, Drama | 20 April 2012 (USA)
The story of Atlanta robbery boy and crack dealer, Curtis Snow, who stole a camera from some college kids in a dope deal and made a documentary about his life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Curtis Snow ...
Himself
Young Blo ...
Himself
Curtis Lockett ...
Himself (as Baby Curtis)
Poncho Perez ...
Himself
Muhammad Abdullah ...
Himself
Jovan Myrick ...
Himself
Lonnie
Adrienne Lockett ...
Herself
D'Angelo Snow ...
Himself (as D-Lo Snow)
Brandon Snow ...
Himself
Amber Russell
Cat Erickson ...
Cat
Tamala
B.
Jessica
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Storyline

The story of Atlanta robbery boy and crack dealer, Curtis Snow, who stole a camera from some college kids in a dope deal and made a documentary about his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drugs and language throughout, some violent content, drinking and brief nudity
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20 April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Сноу на Блафе  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Chris Knittel utilized a series of unorthodox guerrilla marketing techniques. He revealed to Filmmaker Magazine, "I would buy a couple hundred blank VHS tapes, copy a scene from the movie on it, throw the tape in the dirt, put some blood on it and seal it in a manila envelope. From there, I would send out the tapes with no return address to politicians, conservative groups, police stations and various factions in the media. Operation "stir up shit," was now in progress." See more »

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So cold in "the Bluff?"
27 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Cameras are truly remarkable things, wouldn't you say? They have one major job, which is keeping an unblinking record of what is placed in front of it after being activated. In Curtis Snow's debut mockumentary, Snow on Tha Bluff, it captures dehumanizing events of absolutely depressing measures. A cacophony of madness, lawlessness, and sickening behavior done by the lost wandering souls of a dangerous neighborhood in Atlanta nicknamed "the Bluff." By the end of this picture, which runs only seventy-nine minutes, I was filled to the brim with sadness and nihilism.

This is a well-made film, which is a good thing because it gives me something to recommend and makes a valid use of my time, but bad because it's all too effective. It, at first, concerns a group of three college students, driving through the seedy "Bluff" neighborhood where they meet Curtis Snow, who first hops in their car appearing to be interested in selling them all sorts of drugs, before robbing them at gunpoint and stealing their camera. What follows is Snow having his buddy Damon Russell film his large group of friends and how they interact with each other and deal with day-to-day complications in one of Atlanta's roughest neighborhoods. Activities such as theft, shootouts, drug sales, and drug robberies all commence with Snow at the forefront of everything. He tells how he has lost several family members to the rough and tumble gang violence of the Bluff and goes on to show how he has fathered children with different mothers, and is struggling to provide them with the necessities of living a fulfilling and enriching life. The Bluff seems to be the blackhole of the state of Georgia; education is non-existent, the culture is morally bankrupt, the people are violent and near, if not already, a complete and total wreck, and the only two concerns we see present are living to open your eyes the next morning and possessing enough drugs to get you through the night.

While Snow lives in the impoverished, economically destitute community of "the Bluff," his day-to-day struggles (aside from drug robberies and shootouts) likely mirror those of a middle class family. He constantly is worried about his two children and their mother, always trying to have enough money in hand to provide them with luxuries, but finds the only way he can keep giving them what they need is by giving other individuals what they really don't need, which are drugs.

We've been told for years that drugs are bad and that we should stay away from them. Snow acknowledges that, but turns around says that they, however, do help one afford monthly rent. They keep him on a steady, viable income and assist in feeding home and his kids one more day out of the year. Notice how I consistently say "one more day" or "the next morning." There's no macro-scope on life in "the Bluff." For children, it's "if I grow up," not "when I grow up." It's those little hurting details that make Snow on Tha Bluff, a documentary that is seemingly staged but apparently not far from life, on the track of realism.

The final thing to mention about this film is its dialog, which is often incoherent, overly-loud, mumbled, yet accurate to the culture, I presume. Rarely does a sentence become clear when we either have three or more people talking at the same time, with no respect for conversational poetry or fluency or just mumbled, incomprehensible gibberish in place of actual sentence continuity.

I return to the statement I make at the beginning, which was, "I was filled to the brim with sadness and nihilism" while watching Snow on Tha Bluff. It's a film that does what I love, which exposes other cultures and compares how drastically different they are or how closely they mirror the audience's, and it does it all too effectively, which is what makes the film even more valuable and hence why there is the looming sadness and nihilism to go along with it. It's an impacting picture - one I'd hesitate to watch again. It didn't provide me with the same enjoyment I got from a similar documentary, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virgina, which was spry, fun, often comedic, and insightful, and it was authentic. Snow on Tha Bluff is more of a reenactment.

NOTE: On a final note, consider how I call this film a "mockumentary" in my opening paragraph. Much has been made and questioned about the authenticity of the material provided in Damon Russell's Snow on Tha Bluff, and through the research I've done, I resort to calling it a mockumentary for two reasons. One, I doubt that Curtis and his friends, if they really were robbing homes for drugs, would want that footage shown to other people, much less the world, and the camera-theft at the beginning seems all too convenient. Why would Curtis keep that in during the editing? Starring: Curtis Snow. Directed by: Damon Russell.


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