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COOL WORLD, THE 1963

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THE COOL WORLD 1963
U.S. film. The Cool World is filmed in a gritty, semi-documentary style that forces the viewer become a witness to the dreadfulness of slum life in the ghettos of Harlem—a life that is made up of teenage gangs, drugs, prostitutes, violence, despair, and a sense of hopelessness due to racial prejudices.

With an incredible jazz score by Dizzy Gillespie and his quintet setting the tone, we follow the film's main character Duke, a teenager who has dreams of starting his own gang. Duke meets up with a man named Priest, a neighborhood pimp and gangster who shows Duke a handgun and offers to sell it for $50. Duke knows that if he could get a hold of the "piece," that would be his ticket to getting his own gang.

Duke hangs out in the dirty Harlem streets and in a small dingy apartment with the rest of his fellow gang members and schemes to get rid of Blood, the gang's current president. The boys establish a clubhouse and put up a prostitute named LuAnne, whom Blood introduces to the gang.

Duke is certain that by getting a gun he and his gang can return to active "bopping" (gang fighting), which has sadly declined in Harlem. The gun becomes a symbol of Duke's attempt to attain manhood and an identity—it's the only way he knows how to be somebody.

Mesmerizing scenes of Harlem street life in 1963—records stores, doo wop, hustling, robbery, dope, hookers, and more. Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodriguez, Clarence Williams III ("Link" on the Mod Squad), Gary Bolling, Bostic Felton, Gloria Foster, John Marriott, Georgia Burke, Marilyn Cox, Jerome Raphael, Mel Stewart, Joe Dennis. [In English with French subtitles].


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