November 2003
Tupac: Ressurection

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

Tupac: Ressurection
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Lauren Lazin
Producers: Amuru Entertainment, in conjunction with MTV Films
Executive Producer: Afeni Shakur
Narrator: Tupac Shakur

 

 

 

 

 

Is he REALLY dead? Is he hiding out? People seem to be asking themselves that question every time they see or hear something new about the legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, who was MURDERED in 1996. There have been numerous albums released after his death, countless stories and features told and written about him, and just about 4 to 5 documentaries analyzing his existence on earth. With the exception of the albums, which Tupac wrote himself prior to his death, everything else has been told by someone’s perception of him. Well, leave it to the man himself, Tupac, to tell us about his life in his way. “Tupac: Resurrection” is an extraordinary and riveting documentary and definitely one of the year’s best films.

Narrated by Tupac himself, the documentary features highlights of his glorious life and includes footage never seen before. All of this was made possible through the help of his mother, Afeni Shakur, who served as the executive producer of the film. Tupac was a man who somehow knew his destiny because when you hear him speak, you have to wonder how could he have known what would happen later in his life. In collaboration with MTV films and directed by Lauren Lazin, they have done a remarkable job in putting together his life from when he was a child to his “hard labor” as an early rapper with Digital Underground, and to his success as a solo artist promoting the “Thug Life” image. In plenty of interviews that were conducted by MTV, mainly with its star reporter at the time, Tabitha Soren, Tupac, talks about his mother and the ups and downs she has gone through in her life, as well as the negative spotlight that’s been on him when dealing with the police. He also takes the blame for actions he knows he could have controlled (drug dealing, sexual abuse conviction). He covers most of what we had heard or seen before in regards to his lifelong friendship with Jada Pinkett-Smith, his assault cases with the cops, his time in prison, his first shooting in which he blames his “friends”, and his teaming with Death Row Records and Suge Knight. What we get is his thoughts on the matter and not an account from a reporter.

Tupac was definitely a screen presence. He captivated you with his lyrics, his political views, and his appearance. In all of the films he had done, he was the scene stealer. In his first film, “Juice”, one of the great TV film critics of our time, the late Gene Siskel, mentioned how good Tupac’s performance was in the film and was looking forward to seeing him in more movies. One highlight of the film that stands out is when Tupac mentions that when he was in prison, the letter that got him emotional pumped was a letter from actor Tony Danza (of TV’s Who’s the Boss). Tupac was definitely also a character that people wanted to exploit, for the good and for the bad. He was the catalyst that got Congress involved with condemning rap and at the same he was the marketing machine for record labels, TV shows, and anything else that could make a profit. The documentary doesn’t go into the stuff that has happened since ’96 because after all, Tupac is dead and can no longer make a comment. After watching “Tupac: Resurrection”, and see how good is it and surreal to hear Tupac’s voice again, you may ask yourself the question I posed in the beginning of this review.