Hip Hop-eration (2014) – Bryn Evans

 

Opening today at the Bloor Hot Docs theater is this crowd pleasing, completely charming documentary that follows a group of seniors, some of whom are in their late nineties, as they leave their home from a small island off the coast of New Zealand to travel to Las Vegas to take part in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships.

Under the guidance of their instructor, Billie Jordan, this endearing group of octogenarians, dances their way across the globe and right into our hearts, as they share stories of their lives, and bust a move to approving crowds, lighting up screens and stage with their vitality and joy.

Whether bound to a wheelchair, or legally blind, each member of this group, from Violet to Eileen to Maynie to Billie have a reason for being in the group, and they, and the rest share their lives, their stories, and their moves with the audience.

Dealing with fundraising, their age, and some of the conditions that come with it, puts a wonderfully human and fragile face on everything. The film has a wonderful balance to its story, as we learn about some  of the members of the group and then watch them get down, winning hearts over on the island, making new friends, and getting ready to take on the world.

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This is The Feel Good movie, no matter what the viewer’s age, filled with humor and heart and shows us that age is just a number, and there is so much to do in the world. Overflowing with joy, humanity and music, this is a must-see.

Evans has found a strong story that resonates with both the human heart and the dancing feet and it’s impossible not to cheer on these folks as they find themselves on the world stage popping and locking (do the kids still say that?).

I found myself completely wrapped up in the story, and loved hearing about the members of the group. Some of the things they experienced, and are experiencing breaks the heart, and to see them still going strong, embracing life makes for sheer inspiration.

Running at an hour and a half, this one is short, sweet, drops some beats and filled with joy. It’s rare to find a perfect little gem of a documentary that entertains, excites and educates all in one go, but this one not only reaches that goal, it exceeds it, and I can’t help but to encourage the documentary lovers, music and dance lovers, and film lovers in general to get out and see this one while it’s at the Hot Docs theater, you’ll love it.

Hip Hop-eration opens today.

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