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Rampage Review

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Documentary film-maker goes to the streets of Miami t find the rapper brothers of the soldier he interviewed in Iraq. What he finds there is more injustice and tragedy but also nascent talent.

★★★★

Not all documentaries are fly-on-the-wall affairs. Some, through the very act of filming, cause an unexpected turn of events. So it was when George Gittoes went to Miami to film the rapper brothers of soldier Elliot Lovett, whom he had met while making another documentary in Iraq.

As the story takes a tragic turn, it feeds off the constant tension of neighbourhoods that are awash with guns, drugs and deadly attitude. Gittoes’ film is a shocking exposé of America’s backyard, where, statistically, young black men are more likely to die than in the war zones of Baghdad. It’s also a showcase for 14 year-old Denzell, an astonishingly talented freestyle rapper.

This is poignant and well-observed although strays from the usual documentary-makers prime directive.