The group's fist-in-the-air acronym is SPARK (Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge), and the creed they rally around is "intellectual self-defense" -- a catchphrase that should ring a bell with anyone familiar with the 1992 Noam Chomsky documentary Manufacturing Consent. Apart from weaning addicts off drugs, SPARK's shaven-headed principal members, none of whom apparently owns a shirt, operate with no bigger political purpose in mind. Largely, the group exists as a generic narrative device -- an aimless, visionless organization of Murray's concoction solely to run Sherry through her paces.
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You might also consider that if you decide to watch a movie with a title like The Shaft, that's exactly what you'll get... the shaft.
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There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.