Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Feature Film, Coming-Of-Age Drama/Comedy
Starring: Shameik Moore
Rakim Mayers (aka A$AP Rocky)
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
It opens with a textbook definition: Illegal drugs, an idiot, and slang for cool: Dope.
Definitions are at the core of this film, Dope (2015), which takes place in “the Bottoms” of Inglewood, California: the textbook definition of ‘a bad place,’ characterized by its gang wars and its drugs, by its failing high school and its youth who are trapped in its system. We follow three of those youth, Malcolm, Diggy, and Jib — geeky kids who are starstruck by the 90s, a classic feel-good time of post-Cold War America unsettled by the boiling racial tensions that uneasily beckon to this day.
Everything here is defined: the geeks, the bad education, the nostalgia, the drugs, the money, the Bloods, and the Crips. But the film itself is not a textbook definition — instead, the film is about the redefining; central to this film is more than just the labels and the stereotyping, but an energetic and honest redefinition of life. After all, this