A movie review
By Mel Reeves
The creator of GhettoPhysics has tapped into something that is slowly seeping into American mindsets, and that is something is wrong, especially with our relationship to power.
GhettoPhysics, which was screened on October 6 at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, is a documentary that uses a college classroom to make its point. The film is innovative in quite a few ways: Its point is that all relationships, even history itself, can be interpreted using the “pimp/ho” paradigm. “The game don’t change — only the players do,” explains rapper KRS-One.
According to the documentary, everyone is either a pimp or a “ho.” While it sounds a bit extreme, the filmmaker makes his point. He shrewdly uses one of his students who rejects the idea that she might be a “ho” quite vehemently. While calling her an African American princess, he points out that nearly every relationship is an archetype of the pimp/ho relationship.
He rightly nails former presidents, especially Nixon and Clinton, who he captures lying about their misdeeds while in office. He demonstrates how corporations (the pimps) encourage consumers (the hos) to buy their products by buying into the corporations’ reasoning of why their product is needed.
“Hos get nothing,” explained the real pimps that are interviewed. This was one of the more astute comparisons. While working folks in our society think they are getting just compensation for their efforts, the truth is that they are being underpaid by their employers and overcharged by the predators, landlords and other hustlers of this system of inequality.
While the documentary makes a far-reaching analysis, it fails to encourage any kind of rebellion, but instead relies on self-improvement. In that respect, it’s similar to an empowerment seminar.
Another weakness is that the documentary is sometimes all over the place, and it’s not always clear where it’s going. The film also has lots of commentators, maybe too many, though Dr. Cornel West, KRS-One and others give the documentary a bit of credibility. But it also adds to its occasional disjointedness.
GhettoPhysics is worth seeing, even if the pimp/ho comparison is off-putting and it borders on giving credibility to the “game” itself. There are no benevolent pimps.
For more information about the film, go to www.ghettophysics.com.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.