A documentary about the pivotal hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur that is narrated entirely in the words of the deceased artist himself. Through a variety of interviews, journal readings, poetry performances, private home movies, and never-before-seen concert footage, the film serves as a "self-portrait" of a cultural icon whose career and persona, both, continue to grow from beyond the grave.
Lauren Lazin's documentary about the life and work of the rap star and actor Tupac Shakur is less a biography than a posthumous memoir, narrated by its subject — who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996 — from beyond the grave. Ms. Lazin uses audio and video clips, interviews, still photographs and handwritten lyrics to give Shakur the chance to reflect on his short, dramatic and remarkably productive life. "This is my story," he says. "Ambition, redemption, violence and love." There is also controversy, legal trouble, a difficult childhood and a some jail time — as well as snippets from Shakur's fresh, diverse and provocative music. As its title suggests, the movie is less concerned with analyzing Shakur than with bringing him back to life, for which his fans can only be grateful. For everyone else, this film provides the affecting, partial portrait — you might even say the self-portrait — of a talented young man (he was 25 when he died) whose fate was to be misunderstood, perhaps most tragically by himself. — A. O. Scott
2003-11-14 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Tupac: Resurrection