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8 Mile

Find Your Voice 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Following in the recent footsteps of Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez, Marshall Mathers (A.K.A Slim Shady, A.K.A Eminem) takes a sabbatical from the recording studio and enters the world of the silver screen. Loosely auto-biographical, 8 Mile follows the story of Jimmy “Rabbit” Smith Jnr, a depressed rapper, whose girlfriend has gotten pregnant and broken up with him, and who faces the prospect of moving in with his mother (Basinger), her daughter and her boyfriend who hates him.

The title “8 Miles” refers to the road which separates inner city Detroit from its white suburbs, and is the area where Smith lives and has found acceptance and friendship from a posse of homies, and especially from Future (Phifer). Future MCs the rap contests at The Shelter, the place where we first see Smith about to do the only thing he does well and enjoy doing, performing on stage. However, not all goes to plan, despite a wonderfully motivating rehearsal in the men’s room, and he suffers a panic attack, and ends up fleeing the stage.

Humiliated, Rabbit returns to his menial job and living with his trailer trash mother. The following week’s rap battle could offer a chance of redemption - but will he take it?

Eminem is convincing as Rabbit, the plucky underdog who triumphs in the face of adversity and whilst not the greatest piece of acting, he at least manages not to embarrass himself or the audience with a display to rival the cringe-inducing efforts of others from the music industry making the leap into movies. In fact, Eminem plays to his strengths, with some electrifying scenes of one-on-one rapping - trading rhyming insults and literary invention.

You would be disappointed if came to see this film expecting a triumphant rags-to-riches story, for there is no Dr. Dre waving recording contracts and plucking Jimmy Smith from his dead-end job. But what this is is a wonderfully emotive film about facing your fears and making the most of what talents you have. Definitely worth a viewing!

Jack Slim

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Screenings of this film:

2002/2003 Summer Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Summer Term (35mm)
2018/2019 Summer Term (35mm)