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Sef and Chux are two mates into hip-hop, Islam and just hanging 'round. They create raw and edgy hip-hop in Sef's Lakemba bedroom and want to take on the world. They practice and record every day. They rap about ASIO raids, not having money, converting to Islam and surrendering to the will of Allah. Their music is pure, edgy and infectious. Hip-hop keeps Sef clean and Chux out of trouble. Neither wants to disappoint their mother again. However a chance find of a gun by Chux upsets this fragile balance. Their world - their studio - will not be able to protect them.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Tightly focused like all good short stories should be, Lakemba is an edgy drama about two young men desperate to break out of their restricted suburban environment via their music. Music that is hard edged, speaks to their peers in the language of hip-hop, created in their home studio. Living inside but at arms length from their environment, the two men have very little margin, and when a technical malfunction wipes their hard work, their sense of desperation increases.

The early scenes sketch out their characters with clarity and give us an insight into their world, and into their concerns as expressed through the lyrics (although there are some lyrics that I can't quite follow).

Emerging filmmaker Platon Theodoris has used digital technology to make a film within his financial means, telling a story that resonates universally. The film is drama, but plays like a fly on the wall doco, with the two leads effectively playing themselves with the drama volume turned up, thanks to a chance find of a handgun. In the context of today's blighted urban world, this doesn't seem at all manipulative or forced, and thanks to Platon's vision - and Donald Baldie's terrific editing - the film maintains tension throughout, right up to the well considered ending which avoids a potential clichee.

Published July 24, 2008

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LAKEMBA (Exempt 15+)
(Aust, 2008)

CAST: Sefin King, Chuxxen

PRODUCER: Platon Theodoris

DIRECTOR: Platon Theodoris

SCRIPT: Platon Theodoris


EDITOR: Donald Baldie

MUSIC: Sefin King & Chuxxen (Dream Mecca)

RUNNING TIME: 30 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney: July 29, August 5, August 12, 2008, Dendy Newton

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