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Get on the Bus (15). Spike Lee's independently financed labour of love follows the eventful bus journey of a group of black men from South Central, Los Angeles traveling to 1995's Million Man March in Washington DC. Reggie Rock Blythewood's script assembles a cross-section of passengers which is diverse to the point of being tokenistic: a pompous actor (Andre Braugher); a melancholy old-timer (Ossie Davis); a mixed-race cop (Roger Guenveur Smith); a newly reunited, emotionally alienated father and son; a former gang member; an aspiring film-maker (a Spike Lee in the making, no less); and, perhaps most surprisingly, a gay couple on the outs. Lee stages numerous confrontations and conciliations, some more telling than others, and winds up with a convincing portrait of black male solidarity. The conclusion is strange and uncomfortably heavy-handed, but for the most part, the film successfully alternates blunt urgency and infectious breeziness.

Bang (18). This intermittently interesting low-budget debut from British- born, LA-based director Ash explores issues of identity and power from the perspective of an Asian American woman (Darling Narita) who dons a policeman's uniform for a day. There are significantly more ideas here than in your average indie, even if they're not all thought through with equal clearheadedness.

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