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Passing Strange


Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee turns his camera toward the stage for this filmed performance of the acclaimed Broadway musical by singer/songwriter Stew and his creative partner Heidi Rodewald. Developed at the Sundance Theater Lab, the story follows a young black man from Los Angeles as he attempts to make sense of the conflicted cultural signals constantly bombarding him from all sides. Raised in a religious household somewhere south of Interstate 10, the frustrated adolescent feels suffocated by his mother's fixation on family ties, her unwavering devotion to the church, and her unapologetically bourgeois aspirations in life. He longs to experience something "real" in life, ultimately making the decision to follow in the footsteps of James Baldwin and Josephine Baker by traveling to Europe and exploring the world. From outrageous Amsterdam to ultra-militant Berlin, the impressionable wanderer experiences misadventures with sex, drugs, politics, and art as his eyes are opened ever wider to the world around him.

Film Info

RUNTIME - 135 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 2008

FORMAT - DVD Region 1

ATTRIBUTES - Widescreen


DVD Features:

Region 1

Note: Interviews

Behind the scenes

Theatrical promo



Spike Lee

Music Performer

Heidi Rodewald

Music Performer

Jon Spurney

Music Performer

Dorothy Jane Stewart

Music Performer

Christian Cassan

Music Performer

Christian Gibbs

Director of Photography

Matthew Libatique

Source Writer

Dorothy Jane Stewart



"[The] camera movements and compositions immerse the viewer at once in the story and the process of performance, emphasizing both the play's artifice and its fidelity to emotional facts."

- A. O. Scott, New York Times

4 stars out of 5 -- "Tender, sexy, funny, moving and profound, PASSING STRANGE bears comparison not just to the great works of the American musical theatre but to literary landmarks like James Baldwin's ANOTHER COUNTRY and Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN."

- Ray Greene, Box Office



Customer Reviews