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BLING: A Planet Rock

  • Word Up Community Bookshop/Libreria Comunitaria 2113 Amsterdam Ave New York, NY 10032 United States (map)

Bling: A Planet Rock (87 min.)--by Washington Heights-based filmmaker, writer, and journalist Raquel Cepeda--is a feature documentary about American hip-hop's obsession with diamonds and how that has played a significant role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The term “bling” refers to the shine emanating from polished diamonds that represent the status symbol for hip-hop luminaries and fans alike. Bling: A Planet Rock follows three hip-hop artists--Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Paul Wall, and Puerto Rican emcee and activist Tego Calderon--who visit the capital of Freetown and Kono where they survey the devastated country, meet the hip-hop community, as well as encounter refugees and former child soldiers first hand. Former child soldier and international bestselling author Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone) returns to Sierra Leone for the first time since escaping the war and reveals how hip-hop literally saved his life. (Catch Raquel Cepeda on March 20th at Word Up, for the paperback release of her memoir Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.) Projections is Word Up's winter series of film screenings with local filmmakers and neighborhood collaborators.

Earlier Event: February 18
FUNKY Turns 40: Black Character Revolution
Later Event: March 11