About The Book
Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Marc Levin, Slam is a gritty, inspiring portrait of urban poverty and the redemptive power of art. Set in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City and in the infamous Washington, D.C., city jail, Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, a talented young poet and rapper who is busted on petty drug charges and sucked into the black hole of the criminal justice system. In jail, Ray meets Lauren, a volunteer teaching a writing class for the prisoners. She encourages Ray to use his gift to give voice to the anguish of a generation of young men who have been thrown away. And this book is more than just a screenplay. It also contains the poetry featured in the film, as well as behind-the-scenes filmmakers’ and actors’ diaries telling the story of the making of Slam in a two-week guerilla shoot inside the walls of the D.C. jail and on the killing streets of the Anacostia housing projects in southeast Washington, D.C.
“Slam . . . seizes hold of your imagination. It’s the kind of movie that makes you believe in movies.”—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
“A landmark film that defies easy categorization.”—Variety
“An unlikely mix of cinema verit” visuals and colorful verse makes this fight-the-system message movie a visceral look at art’s redemptive powers.”—Premiere
“Brace yourself for a slam-dunk of a movie . . . [Slam] makes Godard’s Breathless look like a cartoon. . . . Independent filmmaking could find no higher ground than a film with an innovative style and social conscience that delivers the message: art redeems life.”—The Hollywood Reporter