Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Competition (out of competition)


Notorious B.I.G.

Voletta Wallace (Producer)

Antonique Smith (Actress)

Anthony Mackie (Actor)

Derek Luke (Actor)

Angela Bassett (Actress)

Jamal Woolard (Actor)

George Tillmann Jr. (Director)

Moderation: Jenni Zylka

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This is the story of the rise and fall of legendary rapper Christopher Wallace who gained worldwide fame as “The Notorious B.I.G”. The film charts his life – from his youth in Brooklyn in the 1970s to the night of 9 March 1997, when he was shot and killed in Los Angeles.
As a child Christopher Wallace wins a scholarship to attend a private Catho­lic school in Brooklyn. His proud mother does everything in her power to keep him off the streets. But in spite of her efforts, he begins drug-dealing at an early age; his life changes when his girlfriend Jan falls pregnant. His daughter’s birth forces him to earn a regular income by any means – legal or otherwise. By chance a tape containing some freestyle rap that “Biggie”
(his childhood nickname) had recorded for fun winds up in the hands of an ambitious hip hop impresario, Sean “Puffy” Combs. He turns “Biggie” more or less overnight into a sensational Afro-American cultural phenomenon – “The Notorious B.I.G.”
But his success also brings a swathe of new problems and before long it’s all his managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts can do to prevent him from getting out of hand. His marriage to R & B singer Faith Evans and his complex friendship with Kimberly “Lil’ Kim” Jones make his private life more than a little rocky, while his rivalry with West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur also brings his professional career to the boil. Tupac is the victim of two shootings, first in 1994 and again in 1996. Half a year later, “The Notorious B.I.G.” attends the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles …

USA 2008, 122 min


George Tillman Jr.


Angela Bassett
Derek Luke
Jamal Woolard
Anthony Mackie

World Sales

Fox Searchlight Pictures