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Documentary Review: “Hip Hop-eration” (2014) ★★★★★


It happens to be that many think once you get old you can’t contribute much to society. All what you have to do is to go to a retirement house and wait for your time to come. But the thing is that it is a false statement and could never be more wrong. Because, being aged is not a crime, it’s just a different, more exciting chapter of life not everyone is capable of living it to the fullest. Believe it or not, after you watch Bryn Evan’s “Hip Hop-eration” you will not only wipe tears from your eyes, but perhaps feel yourself much older than you are. But remember, you don’t need to wait to get into your 90s in order to embark yourself on the journey of a lifetime. Because life is here, right now, and that’s all what matters.

“Hip Hop-eration” follows Kara “Bang Bank” Nelson (94, with cane), Maynie “Quicksilver” Thompson (95), Terri “2-cents” Wool-Moore Goodwin (94), Eileen “Diva mystic” Evans (84), Rosemary “Missy Ro-Yo” McKenzie (74) and Billie “Billie J Buzz” Jordan (44), a founder of ‘Hip Hop-eration’ Dance troupe that aims to participate at Las Vegas Hip Hop International championship that took place in August 2013. As they restlessly rehearse for the tournament, the documentary film captures their journey through time, space and doctor’s visits, that sometimes are not too optimistic. However, when miracle happens, it happens. But if you do nothing for it, then you need to forget about it. However, this is not what this incredibly moving documentary film is about.

As the film unfolds, we find out the reason of Billie Jordan finding the group after being injured in New Zeland’s worst natural disaster – the Christchurch Earthquake on 22nd February 2011.  Her aim was to use hip hop dance as a driving force to not only create a connection with young people, but rather, to promote change youngsters and modern world’s vision towards aged people, and to accept them as an essential link in the chain of society that will always depend on. As she forms the group, you get a chance to learn about Maynie, Terri, Eileen and Rosemary whose life gets another purpose to live for, even if for a short amount of time.

To be completely honest with you, my dear reader, the scene when all senior people get up to the stage to dance hip-hop, I wasn’t able to control myself and had to get up and give a standing ovation with tears flowing like a river. Somehow, it fills you with incredible amount of emotions, joy and happiness for everyone involved in this film, proving that living a life is not a privilege but a duty that should be fulfilled by every citizen of this Earth. Of course, in some parts of the world that right has been taken away from many people, but it’s not what you’re going to see in this film.

In conclusion, I’ve not seen a documentary film for a while where the filmmaker would have made such a subtle connection with the audience through an inspiring story like this one. Every scene contains an elixir of youth we all would like to try. However, that elixir is not a drink or anything like it, but it’s the pure heart of aged people who find their way to live their life and enjoy it through hip hop dance. This is why, if you ask me what to watch, or how to improve your life for the better, I would not recommend you anything else, but to watch Evan’s “Hip op-eration”.

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