Monday, April 7, 2008

B-Boys on the Movie Screen

Planet B-Boy, a documentary I was actually excited to see, finally came to Chicago this weekend. In a sentence, I loved it. Time-Out Chicago didn't, but I don't know what they were smoking. This movie follows B-Boy crews from USA, South Korea, Japan, and France on their way to the Battle Of The Year (a.k.a. BOTY if you are searching on YouTube) championships in Germany. This movie focuses on the people within the crews, what drives them to Battle Of The Year, and what being a b-boy means for them. Even though I've seen some of these crews' videos on YouTube over a year ago, this movie does a great job of putting a face and voice to the b-boys who usually only let their skills do the talking. Since it's a documentary, certain topics, personal views, and stereotypes come out that a close-minded viewer won't get past. Yes, France has some issues with Americans. Yes, Korea has history with Japan. Yes, Japanese culture is not one for public displays of affection. You can thank the J-Crew dressed couple in front of me for the warnings.

I have to admit not much of the actual BOTY is shown, BUT it's about the people as artists. Years of B-boying on streets, low-paying part-time jobs, and (in most cases) family struggle have gotten them to 6 minutes to show the B-Boy world what they can do. On top of that the prize money is only $3,000 split amongst 4 prizes! It's really not about the money. In short, I loved the movie. I want the DVD, and I justified my desires to go to Osaka. If you are intregued by breaking and have a tolerance for subtitles, go see this movie. Click here to see if the movie is coming to a theater near you.