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USA: Lionsgate Films
UK: Redbus Film Distribution
Clown cast: Thomas "Tommy the Clown" Johnson, Larry, Lil Tommy, Big X, La Nina
Krump cast: Tight Eyez (aka Ceasare Willis), Dragon, Baby Tight Eyez, Lil C, Miss Prissy
Cast: Swoop, El Nino, Daisy, Quinesha
Director: David LaChapelle
USA: 84 mins
UK: 86 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for suggestive content, drug references, language and brief nudity
UK Certificate: PG contains mild language and drug references
USA Release Date: 24 June 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 13 January 2006 (Limited Release - wider)
UK Release Date: 30 December 2005 (Limited Release - London)
RIZE reveals a groundbreaking dance phenomenon that's exploding on the streets of South Central, Los Angeles. Taking advantage of unprecedented access, this documentary film brings to first light a revolutionary form of artistic expression borne from oppression. The aggressive and visually stunning dance modernizes moves indigenous to African tribal rituals and features mind-blowing, athletic movement sped up to impossible speeds.
RIZE tracks the fascinating evolution of the dance: we meet Tommy Johnson (Tommy the Clown), who first created the style as a response to the 1992 Rodney King riots and named it "Clowning", as well as the kids who developed the movement into what they now call Krumping. The kids use dance as an alternative to gangs and hustling: they form their own troupes and paint their faces like warriors, meeting to outperform rival gangs of dancers or just to hone their skills. For the dancers, Krumping becomes a way of life - and, because it's authentic expression (in complete opposition to the bling-bling hip-hop culture), the dance becomes a vital part of who they are.
Like PARIS IS BURNING or STYLE WARS before it, RIZE illuminates an entire community by focusing on an art form as a movement that the disenfranchised have created. But the true stars of the film are the dancers themselves: surrounded by drug addiction, gang activity, and impoverishment, they have managed to somehow rise above. The film offers an intimate, completely fresh portrayal of kids in South Central as they reveal their spirit and creativity. These kids have created art - and often family - where before there was none.