Film • Apr 30

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This screening is co-presented by The Watering Hole and preceded by spoken word performances from Monifa Lemons (Poet, Co-Founder of The Watering Hole), Tanisha Hall (Poet/Spoken Word Artist, Graduate Fellow of The Watering Hole), Boris “Bluz” Rogers (Poet/Spoken Word Artist), and Dasan Ahanu (Poet/Spoken Word Artist).


Ray Joshua is the local bard of his Washington, D.C. housing project, entertaining children and composing poems for his friends. When he is arrested on trumped-up drug charges and sent to prison, poetry is his only means of survival. He recites to himself on the prison bus, improvises a duet with a prisoner in the next cell, and scribbles furiously on yellow legal pads. While in jail, Ray meets a passionate writing teacher who encourages him to pursue his poetry. After he is released on bail, the teacher invites him into her circle of spoken word artists and persuades him to take the stage at a poetry slam.

Directed by Marc Levin.

1998. USA. 100 minutes. Rated R for pervasive language, a sex scene, and brief violence.