Photo courtesy of Dallas International Film Festival
When Iceberg Slim (real name Robert Beck) published Pimp: The Story of My Life in 1969, he launched a potent and unusual literary career, influencing an audience that ranged from artists to street hustlers. Yet when Slim died in 1992, much remained unknown about his life and what aspects of his writing were facts versus fiction.
In Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, director Jorge Hinojosa recounts Slim’s life with a visual verve that draws upon pulp fiction iconography matched with biographical skills attuned to complexities and contradictions. For twenty-eight years, Hinojosa has been the manager for Ice-T, which has supplied him with insight into the process of creating art out of street life. Years in the making, the film includes archival footage along with interviews with Slim’s friends, ex-wife, colleagues, and famous admirers such as Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones and Ice-T.