fbpx Don't Be Nice | Gene Siskel Film Center
Filmmakers in person! Film Series : 25th Anniversary Black Harvest Film Festival

Don't Be Nice

2018, Max Powers, USA, 97 min.

Show Times

  • Sun, Aug 4th 5:15pm
  • Mon, Aug 5th 7:45pm

“Their facility and ferocity is remarkable…you’ll find yourself holding your breath.”—Norman Wilner, Now Magazine

This compelling documentary follows the five-member Bowery Slam Poetry Team as they spend the summer of 2016 preparing to compete in the slam poetry nationals in Atlanta. They are variously African American, Afro-Latinx, and queer, and their personal stories become the stuff of hard-hitting poetry pulled from the guts under the guidance of relentlessly driving coaches Lauren and Jon. “Don’t be nice,” cautions Lauren, demanding that the five go beyond the easy temptation of headlines to reach deep into Black culture and experience for the searing emotional connection that will make their live performances sting. Director Powers captures the rocky and rousing process, including the final competition in Atlanta, with stirring close-up intensity. DCP digital. (BS)

Producer Nikhil Melnechuk and executive producer Melina Brown are scheduled to appear for audience discussion at both screenings.

Play Trailer