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"Words make sense of a world that won't."
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Slam is about a young man named Raymond Joshua, an aspiring rapper with a talent for writing poetry. Growing up in the Southeastern part of Washington, D.C., he is constantly present in the dangerous surroundings of gang violence and drug dealings. Ray is arrested by police after participating in a failed drug deal involving the shooting death of his friend, Big Mike. While in court, he is given the option to plead guilty, stand trial or become an informant.

Ray ends up in prison, where he faces constant threats from the other inmates. When threatened, Ray retaliates using his rap talent. During these raps, he explains the truths of what he’s seen to inform the inmates about their struggles and what should be done about them. While incarcerated, he attends a writing class and meets Lauren Bell, the instructor of the class. He grows to admire her as she gives him advice to pay close attention to his writing talent. Ray is then unexpectedly released on bail before his court date. When Ray returns to his neighborhood, he tells his crew not to retaliate with violence, but rather to “break the cycle.”

Ray goes to a poetry reading hosted by Lauren. It was their first meeting since Ray's release from prison. They end up becoming intimate and spend the night with each other. The next day, Lauren pleads with Ray to settle his legal issues by serving a year or two instead of fighting the charges and possibly a longer sentence. After an argument, Ray leaves.

Later that night, Ray goes to a poetry slam event where he sees Lauren performing a piece that was written for him. When the crowd asks for an encore, Ray comes up on stage with an improvised poem on his own. The crowd gets excited and begs for more, but Ray leaves to take a walk. He stops by the Washington Monument as a possible symbol of inspiration.

| 1998 | 1 hr 40 min | 7.2/10
Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn, Bonz Malone, Lawrence Wilson
Marc Levin
Produced By
Marc Levin, Henri M. Kessler

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