Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2003. Amaru Entertainment Inc., MTV Films. Cinematography by Jon Else. Produced by Karolyn Ali, Preston L. Holmes, Lauren Lazin. Music by Mikie Da Poet. Film Editing by Richard Calderon. Academy Awards 2003.
This energetic documentary captures the life of rapper-actor Tupac Shakur, and is mostly narrated by his voice from interviews and personal confessions he recorded before his death at the age of 25. He recalls his childhood growing up in poverty with a drug-addicted mother, his high school years at a performing arts school and his success in the music industry which led to him becoming the highest selling rap artist in music history. Interview subjects include friends and family, colleagues and even a few detractors, but there’s a great amount of footage involving interviews of Shakur himself (the best of which are conducted by MTV’s Tabitha Soren). Shakur is brutally honest about the difficulties of his life and what led him to adopt the “thug” persona he was so well known for, but there are a few times where you get the impression that he’s skimming over the harsh realities of his own personal choices. Director Lauren Lazin uses a great variety of archive footage, music videos and personal documents made available by the Shakur family to describe a complex, impossibly categorized figure in the show business treasure trove of stories.