One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2010 festival circuit was the beat-poetry verite documentary “To Be Heard,” a movie we went into blind and reemerged with intense adoration, calling it “damned genuine” and praising its avoidance in being an overwrought and cliche “inspirational feel good story.” Directed by a posse consisting of Amy Sultan, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Edwin Martinez, and Deborah Shaffer, while also being produced by Dialogue Pictures, it follows three Bronx high-schoolers (Anthony, Pearl, and Karina) who struggle with their city life. In order to avoid falling into dangerous lifestyles and pessimistic outlooks, they channel their personal frustrations into powerful, radical poetry; a platform they use to overcome the streets. It’s a premise ripe for a low-budget movie starring any given former Oscar winner, but thankfully the filmmakers cut the bullshit and go right to the heart.
We have an exclusive first look at the poster after the jump, which displays the three leads (a trio nicknamed “The Tripod”) against a bright background, their personal prose scrawled along their silhouettes. Simple but effective, it’s another example of movie-advertisements-as-art as opposed to the very generic, lazy and unfortunately common collection of pasty faces that pass for posters nowadays.
Containing rigorous energy and authentic heart, “To Be Heard” is not to be missed. It continues its festival run and will appear at the Seattle International Film Festival on 6/11 and the Nantucket Film Festival on 6/23 and 6/26. Detailed information can be found here.