A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.A mix of Dave Chappelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax.
For those of you who don't know "When We Were Kings", it's time to watch it. Because both this documentaries are about the same thing. Of course I wouldn't say Block Party is as good, nor as powerful as when we were kings. But the purpose is the same: try to unite black people on one event, try to make them realise that even when you're black and coming from a poor neighbourhood, you can do something of your life without only blaming the white man for your condition.
Of course, at the time When We Were Kings was shot, Mobutu was Zaire's Dictator, and the movie was financed by Liberian producers, who mostly owned their money from selling diamonds coming from Sierra Leone, exchanged against AK-47's and other weapons. Therefore the omnipotent contradiction hidden behind the Black condition, and even mankind in general, but it has hurt black people much more: people trying to do good, and others getting money out of it with no rules or respect for anything or anyone.
So, for once, here in Block Party, it's something done for fun, not for money, but also for ideas, with representatives of this movement we don't see enough: Not only people AGAINST something or someone, but FOR a change, using the power that is present in this population. And Michel Gondry, who is a GREAT director, filmed this in the same way When We Were Kings was shot. Camera in hand, close-ups, rough cuts, interviews over the music, same kind of music, same kind of people. Showing the poverty, and showing there's hope. It's not a masterpiece to me, but a good documentary. And of course, if you don't like hip-hop it's hard to like it. I'm a huge fan of ALL the artist on this movie, I would have made exactly the same programmation if I had been in control!
- Jun 9, 2006