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Snow on tha Bluff

September 13, 2012

It’s hard to figure out Snow on tha Bluff in its first few minutes. When three college kids record themselves attempting to buy $500 worth of cocaine and rolls in a ghetto in Atlanta, the camera watches as the group decides to buy from a shifty-eyed character that approaches their car window. The dealer claims to not have the goods on him and the trio agree to take him to his home to get it. However, once in the car, he robs them at gunpoint taking their money and the camera. The dealer, real life Atlanta crack dealer Curtis Snow, takes the camera back to his neighborhood, “The Bluff,” thus starting an intriguing narrative that mixes dramatization and documentary as it follows Snow’s day-to-day routines as well as his attempt to take over a new business of drug dealers selling on his turf.

Snow on tha Bluff shows the ups and downs of the drug world in explicit details through scenes of terrifying violence as well as heart crushing sadness, making for a captivating film that’s a different breed of cat entirely. From the first few minutes until the film fades to white, Snow on tha Bluff is magnetizing. Damon Russell’s extraordinary directing reveals intimate moments in the life of Snow and his friends as the film is shot from the point of view of a “member” in Snow’s posse, therefore, allowing viewers to see a humorous loving side of Snow contrasted against his menacing brutal behavior. Scenes of Snow and his gang riding around the streets of Atlanta listening to trap music, sharing bottles of liquor, or street bowling to pass time are humorously engaging to watch.

Snow’s most endearing moments are captured when he talks about and interacts with his youngest son and the child’s mother. Although absent as a father due to his lifestyle of dealing, Snow’s love for the two is shown when he discusses how he uses his lifestyle as a means to give the two whatever they want in life the fastest way he knows how. Snow’s one-on-one frank discussions with the camera also tackle the brutality he’s experienced on the streets with scenes of him either lamenting about loved ones taking from him, yet also proudly gloating about his role in the community as drugs have helped his family survive throughout the years.

The drama in Snow on tha Bluff is unprecedented and so realistic that at times it’s hard to watch. You don’t see characters like Curtis Snow as a lead in a film, ever. He’s loud, vulgar, and shameless in his lifestyle and while he can be amusing and tell engaging anecdotes, his lifestyle and behavior is still vicious. He waves his guns like their American flags and makes elaborate plans to kill others stating that he doesn’t care if children are involved. In one particular scene after a traumatic event, Snow’s toddler son cries in devastation but is quickly interrupted by Snow telling him to stop because “you ain’t no girl,” hardening his son to the lifestyle and losses he will likely endure being raised in their environment. As the son stops his crying, he sniffles with tears in his eyes trying not to resume as the scene sits uncomfortably in the silent room forcing viewers endure the pain in the air.

Snow on tha Bluff goes back and forth between moments of scripted drama and genuine documentary styled moments of Snow discussing his life in the ghetto, the trials he’s endured, and the people he’s seen killed as well as those he’s killed himself. At times characters have to be blurred to ensure their anonymity giving an uneasy feeling of the reality that exists in the images unfolding. However despite its brutality, Snow on tha Bluff is phenomenal. It takes all the drama of turf war in the drug culture seen in New Jack City with the realistic brutal social commentary of Menace to Society and packages it all together in a point of view documentary style exposing the underground world of drug dealing as more than a glamorized fantasy world heard in rap songs and seen in Hollywood produced films.

Instead Snow on the Bluff interrogates the concept of a “thug” and showcases a wide spectrum in drug dealing, while also forcing the argument of nature vs. nature back into society. Produced by Michael K. Williams  of “The Wire,” Snow on tha Bluff is a must see film for anyone who can stomach witnessing a seeing eye into the drug world, a world that, if you’re like me living in an urban city, is only a few blocks away.

SEE IT. And question so many aspects of society

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2012 12:06 AM

    Reblogged this on c.phiri spliff moments and films and commented:
    if this shit is real. this shit is fucked up. if it’s not real… this shit is fucked up

  2. Cedric Wright permalink
    September 20, 2012 2:04 AM

    I just got done watching this film at 1:30 this morning, September 20, 2012.This film is so real!!!!!! I didn’t believe it at first with the college kids filming buying drugs. Seemed unreal that anybody would approach there car with big ass camera filming you. But this life is crazy, and they were White so expect anything. Snow was out of control, and his crew. I didn’t know the drug game was that serious. I live in Newport News, VA. Nigga here are not going hard like that. I’m not proud of this film at all, but it is an eye opener. We need to stop killing eachother. We look horrible: mean(Black People). We need to get Educated and make our communities better for our kids and there kids and so on!!! White people love this shit. We look so fucking stupid!!! If we keep going like this there won’t be any BLACKS left. We only make up a small percentage of the population as it is. BUT NOBODY WILL LISTEN!!!!!!

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