Video Review: TLC "Waterfalls"

The clouds spiral by as plane flies. TLC spring up from up from the depths of the ocean, made up of an aqua solution and then solidify.

In the city, a young man (Bokeem Woodbine) leaves his house. His mother  (Ella Joyce) points from inside the window for him to come back. He gestures for her to calm down. Hands against the window, she asks him to stop.

TLC dance on top of the waves.

The young man gets inside the car and his mother runs out of the house, yelling for him to stay. She cries out to him as the car rounds the corner. She throws her hands up in the air.

At the meet, the shadow of his mother gets in front of him, warning him. He takes out his money. His mother puts her hands on her hands, noticing the gun. After the exchange, he gets shot. The shadow of his mom sobs at her son’s body.

In the suburbs, time goes by. A second young man sleeps with a woman. In the mirror, he touches the lesions on his face. She takes the condom out of his hand and continues to sleep with him. Holding a magazine to her lips, she pictures the various men who have been in the frame. The young man pulls at his face, examining the bruises.

At the waterfall, TLC appear as translucent forms, made up liquid as they dance.

Back at the ocean, the group continues to dance as Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes raps.

The mother, broken and unemotional, walks back home, carrying groceries. Her son, now a ghost, puts his arms out to embrace but she doesn’t feel him with her. He tries again.

In the picture frame, the second young man’s photo fades. Then, the woman’s photo disappears.

On the ocean, TLC return to an aqua solution and zip back into the water.

Rating: 5/5

People are careless with their lives, believing they are invincible and nothing will ever happen to them. They can’t be convinced.

A mother did what she could. When her son was a child, she kept him away from the drug dealers on the corner. She told him of the neighbors and family she lost to gunfire. In between working two jobs, her son was recruited by the drug dealers. She tells him that she can get him money and finds him offers for jobs. However, she can’t stop him. Then, he gets killed. It breaks her. Bitter, she walks home, seething with resentment at the young men she sees on the corner, still alive while she goes home alone.

Meanwhile, a young woman has unprotected sex. She thinks anything she gets can be cured with a prescription. AIDS is something that only happens to gay people. However, she contracted the disease from one of her partners and passed it along to her current boyfriend, who suspects he’s sick. She tells him it’ll go away and continues to sleep with him. Not long after, he dies of AIDS. A year later, she is dead.

The video addresses topics, dispelling myths people have been taught to believe. In cities, drugs are affecting the communities. Without funding and involvement, the young people are going to continue to die if they aren’t provided with other options such as a properly funded schools. However, some young man believe selling drugs is all he can do, despite a loving family.

AIDS, long considered to be a disease within the gay community, can be contracted between a heterosexual couple. No one is immune from it. The young woman, though, believes she will be fine. Considering the era, TLC’s blunt approach is biting, intolerant of ignorance.

Director: F. Gary Gray Year: 1995


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