What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp is about a man who formerly made his living from prostitutes. The brutality and ugly aspects of this job are generally glossed over in the film in favor of praising the pimp's style and power. Interviewees chuckle indulgently as they talk about Iceberg Slim's life and that of the pimp in general, which sends a powerful and confusing message to the viewer, particularly when the film's words are illustrated with glamorous images of well-dressed men in fancy cars and suits. There is some cursing, including unbleeped four-letter words, and plenty of references to women as "bitches." An archival scene of Slim slapping a woman who falls to the ground is played repeatedly, and there is some discussion of beating women to "keep them in line" that seems unrepentant. Slim is a former heroin and cocaine addict and discusses this onscreen; viewers also hear that he spent all his ill-gotten gains this way. Interviewees also smoke onscreen. One hacks a smoker's cough as she lights up -- parents may want to point out the effects of smoking, if they allow older teens to watch this very iffy prospect at all.
  • Families can talk about what a pimp does. Does his service seem worthy and important? Why or why not? Do you admire pimps?
  • Are viewers supposed to find Iceberg Slim a tragic figure? A glamorous one? An important one? What aspects of the way he is presented make you draw this conclusion?
  • Why didn't the film makers interview any of Slim's ex-prostitutes? Do you wish they had? What would their perspectives have brought to the movie?
More Details
comments powered by Disqus