Cinema: High Life of Harlem

Heroma is a raw little minority report on the narcotics trade in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem, made by a group of talented Puerto Ricans. Spoken in Spanish with English subtitles (plus a peppering of Anglo-Saxon vulgarisms), the film is mainly distinguished for acting untouched by the naive semiprofessionalism that blights many a small-budget movie. Topping the cast is Jaime Sánchez as Chico, a well-to-do but restless cat who sums up his birthright by stating his birthplace: "102nd and Lexington."

Sánchez' appealingly altered portrait of a young junkie and dope pusher evokes sympathy mainly by pushing the film's thesis that most such cases stem...

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