MOVIES: "PLANET B-BOY" Review
pictured above: EDAYE with director of PLANET B-BOY, BENSON LEE at New York premiere 03.21.08
A bit late posting this but never too late to spread the word on one of the greatest hip hop movies ever- PLANET B-BOY. I can confidently say that (as shown by my cheesy smile above) it's one of the greatest due to the focus on a very under appreciated facet of hip hop as well as the expressed love for hip hop culture as spoken by the film's phenomenal dancers. PLANET B-BOY is a documentary that follows five teams of b-boys as they prepare for the event of their lives. The "Battle of the Year" b-boy championship is held annually in Germany and its competitors are culled from international semi-finalists that represent their country of origin. The film follows two teams from South Korea (Last For One and reigning champions Gamblerz), one from Japan (Ichigeki), France (Phase-T) and the United States (Knucklehead Zoo) respectively.
pictured above: B-boy Katsu from the Japanese team “Ichigeki” with his mother and brother at their family tea shop in Osaka. Photo Credit: Benson Lee. Elephant Eye Films
Throughout PLANET B-BOY we see each team in their native environment and gain insight into how the love for hip hop culture both binds them and drives them to self expression. As I was watching I felt proud to see how other cultures have embraced something uniquely American as hip hop and how it has evolved into an all-inclusive way of life for youth around the world. We see the same misunderstanding and minimal support from some parents as they struggle to identify with their children. We also see them come around when they see how participating in hip hop has enriched the lives of their children.
pictured above: Korean “Gamblerz” B-boy team member dancing at 2005 World B-Boy Championships in Braunschweig, Germany. Photo Credit: Benson Lee. Elephant Eye Films
The dancing is outstanding and you will stare in awe as these b-boys craft some of the most innovative, daring and seemingly physically impossible moves. The film is in limited release so catch it when it hits your city. SUPPORT it by all means. With all the dance shows currently on television, we are seeing a resurgence in the art of street dancing. PLANET B-BOY is a must see for all who love hip hop and for those who forget that the culture is more than emcees and DJs.