The Big Dis

Institute History


The Big Dis is not about satellite transmissions or flatware. It is not a sequel to the Big Easy. The Big Dis is the brand-new funk. It is a rapper’s delight. So, does anybody on the snow-white slopes of the Wasatch range know what The Big Dis really means?

A young, black soldier returns to his multiracial New York, suburban hometown on a three-day pass, and he’s in search of L-O-V-E! Although expecting a hero’s welcome complete with willing women who are ready to do their booty duty for their country, our soldier boy finds himself rejected (“dissed”) time and time again. Bad luck, bad timing, bad cologne and a lemon of a car all conspire against the “dissee.”

Filmed while one of its young directors was completing his senior year at Harvard, The Big Dis was disguised as a documentary project until a faculty member saw it, and all hell broke loose. The handsome black-and-white cinematography and striking rap-rock score cannot disguise the fact that this is a “no-budget” film, full of gritty vitality. The improvisational authenticity of the performances makes you wonder how John Cassavetes might have started out in this hip-hop era. This street-smart comedy features an album’s worth of tunes by New York’s rising crossover rap duo, Kev Ses and Harry B, with inspirational tracks like “I Just Wanna Get Laid” and “Long Island Girls.”

— John Pierson

Screening Details

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