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Crown Heights (2004)

After the Crown Heights riots, an orthodox Rabbi and a community activist help two youths--one a Hasidic Jew, the other African-American--form a hip-hop group to heal their neighboorhood.

Director:

Jeremy Kagan

Writers:

Michael D'Antonio (story), Toni Ann Johnson (teleplay)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Liza Balkan Liza Balkan
Jeremy Blackman
Jason Blicker
Hart Boykin ... Black Man - Interviewed
David Lawrence Brown ... Officer (as David Brown)
K.C. Collins ... Bazel (as Chris Collins)
Darlene Cooke
Rufus Crawford ... Mr. Moses
Bob Cryer ... Scholem
Dominic Daniel ... Muslim Spokesman
Kevin Duhaney Kevin Duhaney
Jake Epstein
Sara Farb
Michele Ferney Michele Ferney
Gil Filar Gil Filar
Edit

Storyline

After the Crown Heights riots, an orthodox Rabbi and a community activist help two youths--one a Hasidic Jew, the other African-American--form a hip-hop group to heal their neighboorhood.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Comunidade de Crown Heights See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Hard-hitting material; Dull execution
12 December 2006 | by guyfromjerzeeSee all my reviews

Considering the subject matter, this could've been a powerful, moving drama. The film is adequate, and I didn't hate it in the least, but all in all it's no more than an above-average after-school special. The story is based on real events, but I'm sure the writer and director took many liberties in constructing this predictable plot. The friendship between the two main characters (a Jewish teen and a black teen) seems forced. I'm sure the two guys didn't become friends as easily as they did in the film. Trust me, I lived in an inner city most of my life. I don't imagine two people of such different backgrounds embracing each other so abruptly. There are several implausible scenes in the film, including one where the two guys go to a club. Once again, this one of those clubs that only exist in the movies--the volume of the music is low enough for the characters to understand each other clearly, there are only about 10 people in the club (hinting at the film's lack of budget to afford a decent number of extras), a guy utters the lines "Wanna dance?" and the girl immediately prances onto the dance floor with him, and the girl gives a guy her phone number within seconds. On the bright side, the actors are good all-around, including Howie Mandel (my main reason for picking up the DVD), who gives a subdued dramatic performance without making his character too serious. "Crown Heights" is a harmless, watchable film, but it didn't have the effect it should have had on me. Plus, the intercutting of real news footage and videotaped simulations of news reports kind of took me out of the film. At times the director doesn't seem to know whether he wants to make a documentary or docudrama.


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