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EIFF 15: Dope (Rick Famuyiwa, 2015)

Ahh, the teen comedy. An over-saturated movie genre with every one trying its hardest to become the best. You often find that term ‘teen cult classic’ thrown around a little frivolously. In actual fact, we seldom see something that deserves that prestigious title. Perhaps 2007’s Superbad was the last one to reach these heady heights, and even then it took a shed-load of strong reviews and a huge teen following for it to reach this success. Thus, the strong praise that Dope has received from its extensive festival run has become so precious. A passionate, finely crafted escapade set in the Los Angeles suburbs, it takes a place associated with crime-fueled drug gangs and injects a huge amount of character into the people that walk its streets. For Michael, day to day life in Inglewood, California (known affectionately as The Bottoms) consists of getting shining grades, dressing like his eighties hip-hop heroes and avoiding getting his Jordan’s stolen by the school bullies. But as his interview for Harvard University comes closer, he crosses paths with …