Black Film Classics | Poetic Justice

26 06 2008

Fifteen years ago, John Singleton released the second film in his “hood trilogy” with the tender, road love story, “Poetic Justice.

Released July 23, 1993, the film told the story of a young woman, who witnesses the murder of her first and only boyfriend. Justice (Janet Jackson) decides to forget about college and become a South Central Los Angeles hairdresser. Avoiding friends, the only way for her to cope with her depression is by composing beautiful poetry. On her way to a convention in Oakland, she is forced to ride with an independent-minded postal worker, Lucky (Tupac Shakur) whom she has not gotten along with in the past. After various arguments between them and their friends, they start to discover that their thoughts on violence, socially and domestically, are the same. Justice may finally feel that she is not as alone as before.

Making only a modest $27.5 million, the film was Jackson’s vehicle and she gave a solid performance. But it was Shakur whose sensitive and tender performance that really made the film work. It was this film that made many in Hollywood take notice that he possessed significant range to really be a player in this business.

Nestled between “Boyz ‘N the Hood” and “Baby Boy,” Singleton three films introduced many filmgoers to his neighborhood and city through his intimate and personal lenses.

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