When Poetry Goes Off ‘Louder Than a Bomb,’ It Becomes a Must Watch Trailer

Balcony Releasing has unveiled a trailer for the Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel directed doc Louder Than a Bomb, hands down one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long while. This exhilarating true life story was the winner of a Jury Award at the 2010 Austin Film Festival, as voted upon by a jury upon which yours truly served. The vote was unanimous, if I remember correctly. It tells the story of kids from schools around the Chicago area who compete for school pride in slam poetry competitions. Their words, their passion, their unbridled energy light up the screen as their stories touch upon the simultaneous tragedy and beauty that makes up the human experience. If you do any one thing today, I’d recommend breathing (it seems necessary). But if you’d like to move on to a second thing, I’d recommend checking out this trailer. But beware that it might put a stop to that first thing you were doing.


Official Synopsis: Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. Louder Than a Bomb is not about “high school poetry” as we often think of it. It’s about language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems-and what they get out of them-is universal: the defining work of finding one’s voice.

Winner of more than a dozen film festival prizes, including seven audience awards, Louder Than a Bomb has been hailed as “powerful and exhilarating” (TimeOut Chicago), “inspiring” (L.A. Times), “irresistible” (Chicago Tribune), “a get-up-and-clap kind of movie” (Paste), “vibrant and moving” (The Wrap), and “a celebration of American youth at their creative best” (Variety).

Louder Than a Bomb is currently touring the United States, playing various poetry festivals around the country. A full schedule of when and where you can see it can be found at

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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