Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
How often can we promise you so much fun you’ll forget you’re at the movies? There can be few sharper, funnier or wiser commentators on race and class in America than Dave Chappelle, the black comedian who last year astounded his vast audience by walking away from a $50m TV deal. Several months earlier he’d spent a smaller fortune to convince all his favourite musicians to play a free day-long concert, in Brooklyn. The audience, mostly black New Yorkers, was supplemented by several busloads of out-of-towners, mostly white, brought to New York by Chappelle from his home town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Dave Chappelle’s dream come true is a very fine place to be. Here black and white and red and blue can all stay true to themselves while joining in joyous celebration of all that is affirmative, soulful and triumphant in black music now. Music video genius and The Science of Sleep director Michel Gondry captures all the energy on film.
“It’s to the far-out French filmmaker’s credit that he retains the day’s funky, dynamic vibe by simply documenting what these artists do best: move crowds. There’s no trickery that Gondry could use to improve Jill Scott’s super-human rendition of ‘You Got Me’, or the goose-bumpery epidemic that happens once The Fugees ferociously break into ‘Nappy Heads’. But it’s really Chappelle’s show here, with the comedian cracking up everyone within a mile radius.” — David Fear, Time Out
“The buzz comes from the music, which has a loose, burning joy that’s rare to behold in a live rap performance, and also from Chappelle’s wicked prankster’s glee, which spreads through the movie like a happy virus.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly