So Australian documentary filmmaker George Gittoes is filming his acclaimed Soundtrack to War in Baghdad. He happens upon Elliot Lovett a 23-year-old American soldier who offers some amazing improvised battle rap. Lovett actually tells him that he feels more comfortable in Bagdad than back home in Miami where it’s much more dangerous – at least you’re getting fed and no one will try to kill you for your shoes. Intrigued Gittoes heads down to Brown Sub, a place that he refers to as “one of the many war zones in America’ own backyard, Baghdad in Miami.’ Brown Sub is the real deal, the ghetto, everyone’ armed, drugs are rife, there’ driveby’ and turf wars, yet there’ also hip hop. Music goes hand in hand with the violence. It’s freestyling, where murderers and gangbangers battle, searching for rhymes that express their savage world. Lovett’s family, the 20-year-old Marcus and 14 year Denzell are especially talented and Gittoes is drawn in. When tragedy strikes the family Gittoes becomes more than a little emotionally involved, questioning his own culpability and attempting to help the family. But this is not Hollywood, there are no happy endings, no safety blanket, it’s real life, where everyday your very survival is put to the test. Though for the Lovett family there might be one way out. Hip-hop. But is the world ready for a 14-year-old gangsta rapper? Gittoes’ film raises many questions, such as why the Americans are starting wars on the other side of the world when they’re doing nothing to help the people stuck in a war zone at home. Or why it’s okay for rappers to pretend to be from the street but when one actually is it’s too raw for the corporations. It’s compelling stuff.
A trailer, and a bonus cd featuring the soundtrack.
-Bob Baker Fish