Narrated by Tupac Shakur, himself, Tupac: Resurrection is a very intriguing insight into the short life of the controversial, multi-platinum-selling rap artist who was brutally gunned down in 1996.
Wisely glossing over the much-talked-about murder in Las Vegas (for an in-depth analysis of the facts surrounding the case, see Biggie & Tupac), Director Lauren Lazin coherently pieces together audio clips from various interviews to overdub photographs, live performances and music videos to tell the rapper’s tale.
Deliberately, Shakur’s outspoken viewpoints seem contradictory with one another at times here; nevertheless, as he is allowed to speak on various topics such as poverty, violence and redemption, it becomes fascinatingly obvious that Tupac was as much a flawed human being as he was a talented one.
Particularly of note is ‘Pac’s developing, onscreen friendship with MTV interviewer Tabitha Soren, which is seen in two long interviews divided up into various segments throughout the film. Despite the deteriorating quality of the video, Tupac feels very much alive in these scenes thanks to Soren’s down-to-earth interview technique, which allows him to be comfortably honest when discussing touchy media subjects (i.e. women), and unapologetically upbeat (smiling broadly), when asking about less-serious issues.
Many forget that Tupac was only twenty-five years old the day that he died, and despite achieving a remarkable amount of success, he still had a lot of learn. Tracing Shakur’s life from his childhood in New York to his later years as a community activist and street poet/rapper, Lazin allows us to see what made the young man incredibly passionate and, at times, overly rebellious.
Resurrection will unlikely convince non-fans to pick up a copy of one of Tupac’s studio/posthumous albums considering the perpetuative nature of the “Thug Immortal” in question. For fans of Shakur’s music, and Hip-Hop fans in general, though, this documentary is essential viewing in that it gives us almost two hours worth of screen time dedicated to the life of Tupac Shakur in primarily all his own words.