On Netflix Now: We’re Watching ‘Snow on tha Bluff’
Snow on tha Bluff is a 2011 crime drama about a crack dealer who steals a camera from some college kids in a dope deal and makes a documentary about his life.
Found footage films have sort of wedged themselves into a single genre, nearly all of them horror. In many ways director Damon Russell‘s troubling Snow on tha Bluff is horrifying, but it’s not conventionally a scary movie, even if nearly every frame is terrifying. It follows the story of Curtis Snow, playing himself, who, on a whim, robs some college kids looking for drugs, taking their money and a camera they are using to document their lives. Keeping the film rolling, he sets about to train the lens on his own life, and what unravels is a jarring and often tragic series of events that leave Snow in a spiral. Blurring the lines between reality and fiction, Snow is not an actor, essentially playing himself, and what is shown is authentic, so much so that it inspired a police investigation. Snow himself has been arrested and spent time in jail. No matter what lies behind the truth of Snow on tha Bluff, what we witness is harrowing and paints a dark picture of life on the street.
THE LAST WORD
Feeling very much like an embedded documentarian filming right in the thick of it, this is gritty, sometimes hard to watch, and always greatly compelling.
For the same reasons it good, it can be a troubling experience, and whether it is real, staged, or re-enactments, it leaves you wondering what to believe.