...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

June 29, 2006

Juice - 5

In Fugitive Cultures, Henry Giroux argues that this is an example of film that only heightens racism in our culture, by stereotyping urban youth as violent and nihilistic. This film definitely portrays the youth this way, whether this influences cultural views is a little more contentious. Having seen a good number of black films (Menace II Society, School Daze, Bamboozled, Four Brothers, Higher Learning, etc.) I would agree that they do tend to focus on black violence. I think film does influence culture more than we like to admit.
The story of this film is that four friends living in Harlem get caught up in the violent culture around them and end up see in the group dissolve as they want to raise their own status, their juice, only to find it cost more than it is worth. An interesting film, but I agree with Giroux- urban youth are not as nihilistic as this film portrays. Another interesting thing about this film is that it stars rapper Tupac Shakur, who was shot and killed in 1996, in what might be called urban warfare between gangs.

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