This Day in Film: “Fresh”

Published by Michael Arceneaux on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 9:42 am.

(Photo: Miramax Films)

Though the themes of drug and violence had already been depicted in several different movies before its release, the 1994 drama Fresh was praised as a film that told the same story in much more interesting way.

The film, written and directed by Boaz Yakin, follows 12-year-old Fresh, an urban teen who works as a runner for a drug dealer in order to support himself and his troubled sister. Fresh lives in a crowded housing project with his cousins and aunts. His sister is junkie while his father, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is an alcoholic who supports himself via chess game scams.

Fresh finds himself with the respect of local drug dealers because of his intelligence and honesty. Ultimately, the young child witnesses the murder of a classmate and ends up a target in his own right. He then has to use derive a way to protect his life.

The film was criticized for its depiction of urban life, but overall was widely praised. In his review, Roger Ebert wrote, “Here’s a movie filled with drama and excitement, unfolding a plot of brilliant complexity, in which the central character is solemn and silent, saying only what he has to say, revealing himself only strategically.”

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