This potent, fast-paced documentary about Louder Than a Bomb, the annual Chicago-area high school poetry slam, showcases a range of stellar teen poets as they progress through the semifinals into the final competition for 2008. Nova Venerable, a poised senior from Oak Park/River Forest, turns memories of her hellish childhood into hypnotic confessionals, while Adam Gottlieb of Northside College Prep exudes a humor, generosity, and verbal firepower that recall the young Allen Ginsberg. The Steinmetz team are cast as the underdogs, despite the fact that they triumphed the previous year; they struggle with their writing and clash with their coach, but when they reach the finals they deliver an electrifying group performance. Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel directed.
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