Rize up

Rize is the new film by artist David LaChapelle. It tells the story of young men and women in the poor, black areas of LA, struggling to avoid crime and drugs and find another way through life. Some of them become “clowns” and utilise African-influenced dance rhythms.

It’s a beautifully moving piece of work, both uplifting and inspiring. It proves, once again, that a form of apartheid exists in the US – not unlike in Australia between white and our indigenous population – but white people barely feature in the film. In fact, “clowning” is pretty much all that saves many of the characters from the gang lifestyle.

Rize is social history and music video and LaChapelle’s eye is, as ever, unique.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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