Nick Broomfield has been making documentaries for over five decades now. His style and idiosyncratic ways of working have been highly influential on many other filmmakers. The English filmmaker’s most high-profile documentaries have been about musicians. Kurt and Courtney caused controversy and was pulled from Sundance but it’s Biggie and Tupac which probably generated the most publicity. However, it was criticised for a lack of hard evidence and reliance on hearsay.
Almost twenty years later, Broomfield returns to the scene of the crime. Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records and the kingpin behind a long history of violent crimes is now serving a 28-year prison sentence for manslaughter. His long-term incarceration means a number of key players are now prepared to talk about the deaths of 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G., two of the greatest rappers of their generation. Last Man Standing carries on where it left off.
Last Man Standing acts as a fascinating companion piece to his 2002 film and whilst more people are prepared to go on camera the same weaknesses still remain. Although the finger of blame is firmly pointed at the LAPD, supported by witness testimony, it’s still largely supposition. That doesn’t mean for one second that it’s not an enthralling piece on non-fiction filmmaking. Last Man Standing is an enjoyable and informative expansion pack.
Last Man Standing is in cinemas with a Q&A for one night only on 30 June and then on general release from 2 July.