Sydney Film Festival Review: Slam

The rhythm and power of a poetry slam are featured in the film Slam. Directed by Sunrise director, Partho Sen-Gupta, it is a powerful look at race and gender relations.

Ameena, a slam poet who endorses violence to be met with violence, goes missing. Ricky, her brother, who’s more accustomed to spending time with his pregnant wife at sophisticated dinner parties, goes looking for her. There is a clash of cultures as Ricky has to attend to his pregnant wife and the anguish of his family. The clash is between those with scarred experiences versus the comfortable locals with fear-induced prejudices.

It’s also the story of Joanne, the police officer who is assigned to go looking for Ameena. She has her own demons to deal with while looking for a missing person.

Slam is a measured and steadily paced film that’s nicely shot with solid performances from the cast while Rachel Blake stands out with her tough, dark performance.

A standout feature of the film is the poetry of the film. Written especially for the project, they are powerful tomes that add immensely to the drama of the film.

Lots of talent around the camera as with Ricky and Joanne going into challenging territory. They have dark histories that they are still coming to terms with. They are expertly played by Rachael Blake and Adam Barkri and Sen-Gupta’s guiding hand has the tension build up steadily with a dark, yet beautiful look and feel.

This French co-production is an outstanding addition to the film festival and is well worth making time form.

Michael Collins

Slam screens on Saturday June 15.

Friday 14th of June, 2019

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