Director Byron Hurt
Director Byron Hurt

As part of a Social Justice Film Series, the YWCA Orange County and the Downing Film Center are hosting a screening of the film Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes at the Downing Film Center, 19 Front St., Newburgh. This film will be the last of the series, to begin again in fall 2014.

Filmmaker Byron Hurt, a life-long hip-hop fan, was watching rap music videos on BET when he realized that each video was nearly identical. Guys in fancy cars threw money at the camera while scantily clad women danced. As he discovered how stereotypical rap videos had become, Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist, decided to make a film about the gender politics of hip-hop, the music and the culture that he grew up with.

“The more I grew and the more I learned about sexism and violence and homophobia, the more those lyrics became unacceptable to me,” Hurt said.

The result is Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a documentary that tackles issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in hip-hop culture.

The feature will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 2. Admission is free — donations welcomed. A talk-back will follow.

The Downing Film Center has limited seating. Reservations strongly suggested. Call YWCA Orange County at 845-561-8050, ext. 17, and leave a reservation message.

Photo courtesy of The Downing

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