Courtesy Photo
Directed by Spike Lee

Starring Andre Braugher, Ossie Davis, Charles Dutton, Richard Belzer, DeAundre Bonds, Thorn Byrd, Gabriel Gasseus, Isiah Washington, Steve White, Harry Lennix, Bernie Mac, Wendall Pierce, Albert Hall, Hill Harper and Roger Smith.

"Get On the Bus"

Opened: October 16, 1996 | Rated: R

Even with the blatantly deliberate diversification of the 15 men traveling to the Million Man March in Spike Lee's "Get On the Bus," the personalities play off each other well as a microcosm of African American society.

Friendships are formed; religion, politics and lifestyles are debated and clashes arise, some of which are talked out and some of which are resolved through head-butting machismo.

Most socially notable variations on the black experience are represented and the coincidence is a little much to bear at times. There's a homophobic actor and a gay couple, a father and troublesome son, a film student making a documentary, a half-white cop and an ex-gang banger, et al.

But in spite of it's 31 Flavors menu of characters, it must be said there's nothing quite like watching a film in which every person on the screen offers up their heart and soul for the sake of the picture -- and that's just what happens here.

Shot on a tiny budget and in 16mm (35mm cameras were far too big to get on board a charter coach), Lee has returned to his independent roots and has his most honest work since "Do The Right Thing."

A disheartening letdown in the last reel positively kills the momentum of the film, but the spirit of the story prevails and by the time "Get On the Bus" ends the disappointment has faded.

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