Rick Famuyiwa‘sÂ highly anticipated film, Dope is a must-see movie for 2015.
The coming of age film has elements of Boyz n the Hood but the use of technology, a culturally diverse cast and correlation to current events makes the storyline universal.
Though the cast is predominately African American with stars likeÂ Shameik Moore, rapper A$AP Rocky, Zoe Kravitz, model Chanel Iman and Quincy Brown, the film’sÂ director,Â FamuyiwaÂ exclusively told Cocoa Fab, â€œ…thereâ€™s no such thing as a â€˜black film'”.
Oscar Award-winning actorÂ Forest Whitaker,Â and business partnerÂ Nina Yang BongioviÂ helpedÂ Famuyiwa secure the funding forÂ the film.Â Â Bongiovi revealed that she andÂ Whitaker have a group of financiers in Asia who trusted theirÂ instincts after they successfully produced the critically-acclaimed Fruitvale Station starring Michael B. Jordan.
â€œWe also had another film that was in Sundance and Cannes along side Dope called Songs My Brother Taught MeÂ about Native American youth. As producers, we’re about diversifying our slate and being able to take on filmmakers that we care about and make their visionÂ happenâ€ Bongiovi said.
— Forest Whitaker (@ForestWhitaker) June 9, 2015
Whitaker says that he was able to identify with the characters in the film having grown up in what some would consider a rough neighborhood of South Central, Los Angeles as well as Carson, CA.
â€œ[Dope] takes you on a ride; itâ€™s fun, itâ€™s funny, itâ€™s surprising and itâ€™s hopeful. The film tells you that you can accomplish your dreams as well as maintain your voice even under those crazy circumstancesâ€ heÂ said.
â€œTheres also a strong message about profiling that comes out at the end of the movie with Malcolm…I think it will start to change our perceptions of others, it’ll turn those assumptions on itâ€™s head.Â Youâ€™ve got A$AP Rocky whoâ€™s a drug dealer but also a geopolitical philosopher; a Harvard alum whoâ€™s manipulating the neighborhood; then a Caucasian hippie-drug dealer whoâ€™s the most brilliant of them all” heÂ explained.
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“The main characters are 90s retro so you think they’ll listen to hip-hop but they have a punk rock band and they live in the hood. Itâ€™s all these different elements of the film that make you have to question the way you perceive people.”
DopeÂ hits theaters Friday, June 19th.