Edition no. 1086
Film noir hits the mean streets of 1990s Los Angeles in this stylish and subversive underworld odyssey from veteran actor-director Bill Duke. Laurence Fishburne stars as Russell Stevens/John Hull, a police officer who goes undercover as the partner of a dangerously ambitious cocaine trafficker (Jeff Goldblum) in order to infiltrate and bring down a powerful Latin American drug ring operating in LA. But the further Stevens descends into this ruthless world of money, violence, and power, the more disillusioned he becomes—and the harder to make out the line between right and wrong, crime and justice. Steeped in shadowy, neon-soaked atmosphere and featuring Dr. Dre’s debut solo single, this unsung gem of the nineties’ Black cinema explosion delivers a riveting character study and sleek action thrills alongside a furious moral indictment of America and the devastating failures of the war on drugs.
- New interview with director Bill Duke
- New conversation between film scholars Racquel Gates and Michael B. Gillespie about Deep Cover’s place within both the Black film boom of the early 1990s and the noir genre
- New conversation between scholar Claudrena N. Harold and professor, DJ, and podcaster Oliver Wang about the film’s title track and its importance to the history of hip-hop
- Panel discussion from 2018 featuring Bill Duke and Laurence Fishburne and moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell
- An essay by Michael B. Gillespie