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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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on July 12, 2015
Great documentary! However I didn't like the fact that it was presented in a windowbox format (black boxes on all sides of the picture). Kind of annoying. Do all versions of this movie look this way?
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on February 20, 2013
This documentary is great for those who are a minority in any music scene and/or for those who want to know what it's like to be a minority in an outcast music scene such as punk rock. It covers all areas, from racism to relationships. I personally can relate to this because of my experience.
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on November 29, 2012
This is a great documentary. It is well worth seeing because of its historic value to the afro-punk movement, and to punk rock in general. I wish there were more like this. Showed it to my daughter so she could understand her Mom's younger days. When she asked me what a moshpit was, and she then asked if crumping was its' baby. I AM GETTING OLD.
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on July 31, 2012
This movie was ok....I was expecting it to be more about the punk scene and not just a bunch of black kids complaining. Granted I'm a black female in the punk scene, well in my city the underground, squat, basement show, DIY scene. This movie was rather disappointing. While I have experienced most of the issues they talked about, It just felt like complaining and I found my self thinking "Deal with it" or "What are you going to do about it?" through the majority of this movie....
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on June 22, 2012
Alot of the isolation these people feel is due to their atypical appearance and tastes in music; however, It is no longer unusual to see black teenage boys wearing tight jeans, gauges in their ears and dyeing their hair....so, eccentric, non-traditional styles and preferences are no longer taboo amongst black youth; making this film somewhat dated. The people in this film were hard to connect to as we only got snippets and summaries of their lives in brief interviews. It feels like each of these people had 7-minute interviews that were chopped up into a movie; it's really a bunch of mini-interviews, not a documentary about people's lives. And listening to them whining about how hard it is to be black wasn't particularly interesting. I am black so I know what it's like; that's old news. Give me something new.
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on February 17, 2009
I'm a suburban white girl, in my mid thirties, and I have come to realize that punk rock is for us old folks now. Having been in a few scenes here and there, there is always the token black kid among them. I was looking for a real innovation, perhaps a personal story or two. Instead, I got a very generalized look at why others are punk rock. Alienation, feeling outside of society, feeling misunderstood are all a part of it. These black kids that were profiled in this documentary were one of the few black people in their community. They will naturally look to what the white kids are doing for entertainment. Maybe this was with limited access to cable television and the Internet, but it's really not surprising how black teenagers will look to punk rock in some places and hip hop in others.

There are no surprises here. The only highlight was seeing a few interviews with members of the Dead Kennedys. Otherwise, not very entertaining.
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on December 30, 2007
THIS MOVIE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PUNK!! EXPECT FOR BAD BRAINS AND THE DEAD KENNEDYS THAT COME OUT FOR LIKE 2 SECONDS.
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on July 5, 2007
This dvd was dope. Because it had artist who i didn't know existed, better the world doesn't really know exist. it had artist that can but inspirational but you'll never see their videos on b.e.t. which i think is wrong b.e.t needs to put black rock n roll artist on their channel. they need artist like, bad brains, fishbone and etc. Not just so damn gospel s... on the air so it can influnce black children to be rock n rollers not just singers n rappers.
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on March 11, 2007
AFRO PUNK (2003)
directed by James Spooner
approx. 66 minutes

This is a very good movie dealing with black identity in the world of hardcore punk. The movie is made up of testimonials from several black punks talking about subjects such as the relationship of traditional African culture to body modification in punk fashion, interracial dating, being a "safe black", and having mostly white friends. What I like about the movie is the way it doesn't distinguish between the experiences of black suburban high school kids and famous black punks such as D.H. Peligro (of DEAD KENNEDYS). The interviewees are all ages and from all over the country. The movie is edited in a way that emphasizes common thoughts and experiences (such as the importance of BAD BRAINS). They correct misconceptions that people may have about them and their background. Some of the punks do get a little more camera time, such as the zine author from California and the black nationalist singer of the band CIPHER. The more "in-depth" segments show some of the ways black punks set themselves apart and how central identity politics are in their projects.

This movie is NOT a collection of archival footage that aims to deliver a history of black punks. At the end of the movie, some of the interview subjects are asked to name as many punk bands with black members as they can. If you'd like a thorough directory of black involvement in punk rock, look up ROCTOBER magazine's website for an extensive list.

This movie is a welcome addition to the recent crop of punk movies since it examines an area of the music scene which often goes undocumented. I look forward to seeing more movies from the director James Spooner. You do not have to like punk music (or be black) to enjoy this movie.
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on August 8, 2006
if your racial identity has ever been questioned whether you are black, white, asian, latino, native american, middle eastern, or what have you, you should definitely check this dvd out. you dont even have to be black or into rock music at all to get something out of it.

maybe youre the only black kid on the lacrosse team

maybe youre a white rapper

maybe youre the only male hetero ballet dancer at your dance school

maybe youre the only asian dude on the basketball team

maybe youre the only girl on the football team

maybe youre the only muslim in idaho

this documentary in many ways tackles a lot of the existential realities related to those types of experiences; experiences of isolation and rejection by a larger more dominant society. of course, every different experience is unique but there are some commonalities among them and things to be learned.
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