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Intelligent 12-year-old boy runs heroin in the morning and sells crack after school in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. Enterprising young man draws life lessons from chess-hustler father Jackson and heroin-dealing mentor Esposito, so he looks for a way out of the dead-end business. First time director Yakin plays it straight, foregoing the usual Hollywood-style rap and automatic weapons approach to convey the message that circumstances can kill innocence just as effectively as a bullet. Startling but subdued atmosphere allows the plot and characters to become more complicated than first suspected. Excellent performance by newcomer Nelson as the kid.

Miramax Film Corp., 8439 W Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069-1921, Phone: (323)650-2937, URL: http://www.miramax.com

Available on Running time 114 minutes. Originally from French.

Cast and Crew

Genres
Chess, Childhood Visions, Urban Drama, African America, Drug Use & Abuse
Screenplay
Boaz Yakin
Cast
Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito, Sean Nelson, N'Bushe Wright, Ron Brice, Jean LaMarre, Luis Lantigua, Yul Vazquez, Cheryl Freeman
Cinematography
Adam Holender
Director
Boaz Yakin
Producer
Lawrence Bender, Randy Ostrow, Miramax Films

Awards

Ind. Spirit 1995: Debut Perf. (Nelson); Sundance 1994: Special Jury Prize, Filmmakers Trophy.

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