There's a fascinating film to be made about the pimp culture and the myth of the outlaw sexual entrepreneur. American Pimp
, a slick and entertaining but rather timid documentary by filmmaking brother act Allen and Albert Hughes (Menace 2 Society
, Dead Presidents
) isn't quite it, but it's a captivating document nonetheless. Flashy, garrulous real-life characters with names like Charm, Rosebudd, Too $hort, C-Note, and the "internationally known" Bishop Don Magic Juan take over their interviews with silver-tongued charm, spinning self-aggrandizing, often contradictory stories of life in the trade. The Hughes never challenge those contradictions and give only token representation to the women in the life (who have either bought into the myth or are too cowed to say differently). Apart from a few unguarded statements by less cagey subjects, the film avoids the seedy flip side to the so-called benevolent relationship between pimp and "ho." More to the Hughes' point is the fluid relationship between media image (as celebrated in such blaxploitation classics such as The Mack
and Willie Dynamite
) and street image. Simultaneously embracing and decrying their outlaw status, these pimps transform themselves into peacocklike fashion statements inspired by the very images they find so denigrating. They are undeniably dynamic characters playing out a bizarre fantasy of wealth, power, and swaggering sexuality, but if the film shows the cracks in their masks, it never manages to reveal the men under the money or expose the fallacy behind the fantasy. --Sean Axmaker
Urban auteur filmmakers, the Hughes Brothers (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) hitthe mean streets with an "incredibly entertaining and charismatic" (Shout) expose on real-life pimps. A "snappy, stylish documentary" (The New York Post) containing "blunt, raw power and stylistic energy" (The Hollywood Reporter), American Pimp is "a primer on pimp craftand culture" (Shout) that takes you into the shadowy world of prostitution, "putting on the screen everything you ever wanted to know about pimps" (Nuart). Cutting straight to the heart of the world's oldest profession, this intimate portrait of infamous "mack-daddies" like Filmore Slim, C-Note, Gorgeous Dre and Rosebudd is eye-opening and shocking. From the dirty streets of New York, L.A. and San Francisco to the "Player's Ball" in Milwaukee, you'll walk the boulevard ofbroken dreams and hear every heart-wrenching story and hilarious anecdote. It's an exclusive ride you've never experiencedand won't soon forget.