RIZE

Krumping and Clowning Around

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 24, 2005

Starring: Tommy the Clown, Larry, Dragon, Lil Tommy, Miss Prissy, Daisy, La Nina, Lil C, Tight Eyez, Swoop, and Big X

Genre: Documentary/Dance Documentary

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 84 minutes

Address Comments To:

Tom Ortenberg, President
Lions Gate Films
4553 Glencoe Ave., Suite 200
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 314-2000
Fax: (310) 396-6041
Website: www.lionsgatefilms.com

Content:

(BBB, CC, H, LL, V, S, N, ) Very strong biblical and moral worldview with strong Christian messages and light humanism expressed in this enthralling documentary about new urban dance forms; 11 light obscenities (with one muffled strong obscenity and 4 racial slurs); mild violence includes footage of 1965 Watts’ riots and L.A.’s “Rodney King” riots (mostly burning building and rioters throwing things), dancers re-enact Rodney King beating as art form (without hitting each other), pushing and slapping while dancing, and much talk about dangerous streets, abandoned children, gangs, drug use, drive-by shootings, violence, suicide and home burglary (all very strongly rebuked); no sex scenes but some sexually suggestive dancing; upper male nudity and women dancing in bras, brief male nudity in old African tribe footage, and dancers describe “stripper dance” style; no drinking or smoking; very strong moral characters, music, and positive messages about turning to God, “krumping for Christ” and using dance to express worship for Him.

Summary:

RIZE is a beautiful and moving documentary about new urban dance styles called Clowning and Krumping. RIZE has some mature content, but its hopeful themes and strong Christian messages should attract people everywhere. Best of all, the movie shows godly young people using dance to draw troubled youth away from violent and self-destructive lifestyles.

Review:

RIZE is a beautiful and moving documentary about new urban dance styles that offer young people a positive and healthy alternative to gang involvement, drugs or a life of crime. Originating in Los Angeles’ notorious South Central neighborhoods, this movement crosses ethnic lines and is gaining in popularity. Most surprisingly of all, many of the dancers are Christians who openly credit God and praise Him for introducing this new art form to them. The movie uses Christian songs, portrays Christians in a positive light, and shows godly young people using dance to draw troubled youth away from violent and self-destructive lifestyles. RIZE does contain some mild obscenities and racial slurs (mostly heard as lyrics in two of the dance songs), some sexually-suggestive dancing, and quite a bit of upper male nudity, but the movie is tremendously inspiring and encouraging about the positive impact these new dance forms are having on broken families and troubled communities.

The movie opens with the disclaimer that no footage has been sped up in any way. Later, Director David LaChapelle wisely slows the dance scenes down so that viewers can appreciate the complexity and beauty of this rapid and aggressive art form. RIZE credits local resident and neighborhood hero Tommy the Clown as the originator of this dance style, aptly nicknamed “Clowning.” Tommy is shown at birthday parties and family gatherings, entertaining all ages with balloon animals, illusions and, of course, dance.

Tommy the Clown encourages his party audiences (children and adults) and captivated neighbors to join in the dance as his speakers blast hip-hop music from the back of his little clown car. In the mid-1990s, when Tommy first came up with Clowning, he began recruiting talented young people to dance with him and bring smiles to the happy crowds. Soon, other Clowning groups formed and some even splintered off with their own dance style called “Krumping.” Today, there are more than 50 Clowning and Krumping dance groups committed to giving young people a safe and positive outlet amidst their tragic surroundings.

RIZE rises to inspirational heights when it shows the 5th annual competition between the various dance groups. Thousands are thrilled at this exciting event and watch as Tommy’s team (Clowners) takes on a group of talented Krumpers in this riveting “Battle Zone.” Though some teams and dancers are declared winners, it seems that all of the young people involved are genuine winners in the daily struggle for their souls. The dancers and their families repeatedly emphasize the value of living godly lives and gang-free.

MOVIEGUIDE® readers should understand that the marketing of this documentary does not match the predominant message or content. In publicity materials, the new dance styles are described as “borne of oppression” and a possible “reaction to the Rodney King riots.” In fact, however, Clowning and Krumping are positive alternatives to the hip hop lifestyle. In RIZE, young people renounce the “bling” lifestyle (materialism and wealth usually associated with gangs) and credit God with saving them through their involvement with this new movement. They are shown helping others, mentoring abandoned and neglected children, and even “Krumping for Christ.”

RIZE dramatically weaves in gospel hymns (“Seek Ye the Lord” and “Amazing Grace”) and godly songs (“O Happy Day” and “Ghetto Gospel”). Christians are shown praying, worshipping and encouraging one another. RIZE has some mature content, but its hopeful themes and strong Christian messages should attract people everywhere.

In Brief:

RIZE is a beautiful and moving documentary about new urban dance styles called Clowning and Krumping. They offer young people a positive and healthy alternative to gang involvement, drugs or a life of crime. Originating in Los Angeles’ notorious South Central neighborhoods, this movement crosses ethnic lines and is gaining in popularity. Most surprisingly of all, many of the dancers are Christians who openly credit God and praise Him for introducing this new art form to them. The movie shows godly young people using dance to draw troubled youth away from violent and self-destructive lifestyles. RIZE does contain some mild obscenities and racial slurs (mostly heard as lyrics in two of the dance songs), some sexually-suggestive dancing, and quite a bit upper male nudity, but the movie is tremendously inspiring and encouraging about the positive impact this movement is having on broken families and troubled communities.

RIZE dramatically weaves in gospel hymns (“Seek Ye the Lord” and “Amazing Grace”) and godly songs (“O Happy Day” and “Ghetto Gospel”). Christians are shown praying, worshipping and encouraging one another. RIZE has some mature content, but its hopeful themes and strong Christian messages should attract people everywhere.