SLAM, starring Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn, and Bonz Malone, is a powerful work of cinema verite that portrays the story of a young black performance poet, Raymond Joshua (Saul Williams), who is arrested and imprisoned for a petty marijuana charge in a Washington, D.C. jail. Although the confining prison walls do little to shield him from danger, it is within those walls that Raymond establishes his identity, strength and voice, and meets a prison gang leader (Bonz Malone) and a prison writing teacher, Lauren Bell (Sonja Sohn). Bell inspires Raymond to use the power of creative expression to free himself from the struggles and demise of the black male, as another victim of the judicial system. Sublime poetry and heart wrenching realism, SLAM is itself a testament to the importance and the impact of artistic expression. Directed by Marc Levin. Blowback Productions, 1998.
SLAM was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.