Touted as the film about German hip hop, Neblett's docu on a music scene known for its particular lingo should delight hardcore devotees of the genre to no end... but frustrate those who aren’t. Starting with a quick exposition on hip hop in Germany and then taking several well-known names and sending them on a wild-goose chase for an elusive rapper from the 1980s, the film ultimately plays to the well-worn idea that music can unite us all, in spite of our petty squabbles and egos. All of which is great for those already immersed in this cultural landscape, but exhausting if you're not.
The film starts out at break-neck speed, attempting to lay the historical groundwork quickly so it can get to the plot. Blink and you'll miss it, as it shifts tones to what ultimately seems like an attempt to pull a Banksy (who coincidentally is mentioned several times in the film). For those looking for the B Movie of German hip hop, you won't find it here, but that's also not the director's intention. Which is unfortunate, as a little more of that would have helped letting the outsiders in. Insiders, though, are gonna have a party alright.
Blacktape | Directed by Sékou Neblett (Germany 2015) with Marcus Staiger and Falk Schacht. Starts December 3