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Dave Chappelle's Block Party

2006 Documentary

In September 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle took a break from his immensely successful Comedy Central show to stage a free, unpublicized, all-star hip-hop concert in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Inviting fans over the Internet, on the street, and even in his family's hometown of Yellow Springs, OH, Chappelle asked filmmaker Michel Gondry to document the event from its inception on through to the performances themselves. The result is Dave Chappelle's Block Party, a concert film that provides not only a sampling of the music on display that September, but also an intimate look at the comedian himself. Gondry's cameras tag along with Chappelle as he visits Ohio, recruits a university marching band to play at the show, and surveys the opinions of Clinton Hill on the show that's about to take place. Along the way, we're introduced to some the comedian's favorite acts, in rehearsals and on-stage: Dead Prez, Jill Scott, Mos Def, the Roots, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, and the surprise reuniting of the Fugees. more..

Director: Michel Gondry

Reviews

  • The enthralling spirit of Dave Chappelle's Block Party, its mood of exuberant democracy, extends to every rap and soul performance in the film.

    Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly

    19 January 2013

  • The movie they've assembled is in the vein of 1973's "Wattstax," but it's much more than a concert documentary. It's a jubilant, civic-minded lollapalooza.

    Wesley Morris - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

  • Mr. Chappelle looks and sounds alternately ebullient and weary. It was directed by Michel Gondry, the madcap genius behind "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," but in its tone and vibe feels like Mr. Chappelle's all the way.

    Manohla Dargis - The New York Times

    19 January 2013

  • Most fun of all, however, is basking in Chappelle's ability to be effortlessly funny. Whether he's making believe he's a pimp in a Dayton clothing store or charming little kids in the Bed-Stuy day-care center that was concert headquarters, his personality infuses the film with infectious good feelings.

    Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times

    19 January 2013

  • The comedian has had his ups and downs recently, but the film is pure up, a wonderfully genial and inclusive record -- not that the music is devoid of anger or social protest -- of a day-long, freestyle show.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Best Documentary

    Black Reel Awards (2007)

  • Best Documentary

    Online Film Critics Society Awards (2007)

     
  • Best Documentary DVD

    Satellite Awards (2006)