The film is as intimate as it can be, but at times, feels like an invasion of privacy.
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Considering that it was filmed in bits and pieces over two decades, it's not surprising that 17 Blocks is disjointed in its storytelling, nor that its technical elements are ragged (subtitles are frequently employed due to poor sound quality). But it nonetheless packs a potent emotional punch.
17 Blocks ... is packed with gritty realism, and at times its uncensored honesty almost makes you want to look away.
And while it’s a difficult sit sometimes, “17 Blocks” is essential viewing for anyone interested in how the confluence of race and class have codified into a sort of informal caste for an entire subsection of America’s citizenry.