Movie of the Year: 1991
Will Boyz n the Hood be the 1991 Movie of the Year?
This week the Taste Buds tackle John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, film full of debuts, nuance, tragedy, and the natural rhythms of real life. In a way, it bears more in common with the films of 1975. It was a big movie in 1991–the year’s most profitable, in fact–but does it have what it takes to be 1991’s Movie of the Year?
Boyz n the Hood is a story about the inner city violence of the 90s. Something I am sure, without checking, we have figured out the solution to by now. I am going to reach into my big bag of 91 tricks and guess that we solved this with more policing and longer jail terms in the intervening years? That has to have done it.
In the movie, we follow Tre, and half brothers Doughboy and Ricky, as they each try to survive and thrive in an increasingly desolate urban landscape blighted by redlining, gang violence, predatory businesses, and a complete paucity of hope.
And like a Shakespearean tragedy we can see the end coming, but it can’t inure us to the human pain, as Ricky is gunned down in the absolute prime of his young life. The cycle of violence continues and we are left to ponder if getting out is the only hope left.
Nineteen and ninety-one. It was a magical time full of promise and wonder and we have to go back. However, we cannot. We can only move forward. Because we are podcasters, and bravely moving into the future is all we know how to do. All of that, and somehow more, on an all-new Movie of the Year!
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