Hip Hop-eration

Hip Hop-eration

(2014)

A feel-good documentary following the journey of elderly Kiwis training to compete in the World Hip-Hop Championships in Las Vegas. The film explores the lives and motivations of the ambitious Waiheke Island senior citizens within the dance group.

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Flicks Review

Coming out of nowhere is this New Zealand Film Commission-funded documentary about a Waiheke community of elderly Kiwis that forms a hip-hop dance crew, an activity that troupe manager Billy Jordan initiates to get the pensioners “out of their comfort zone.” Ironically, this film never leaves the familiar zone of ‘feel-good doco 101’, but Hip Hop-eration hits raw magic when exploring separate stories from the past of its senior cast.... More

Whether it’s a tale of a past lover from WWII or an experience smoking weed in 1960s America, the film shows how these folk have lived sensationally adventurous lives. Starting an elderly hip-hop dance crew is just another page in the books of their beautiful being.

Their adventurous spirit earns the admiration of the young Māori and Polynesian hip-hop dance community and it’s impossible not to get the warm fuzzies seeing these two distant generations lovingly connect through the performance art. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t show us how the elderly’s understanding of hip-hop dancing has progressed and evolved since they started the modern exercise.

Additionally, the finale doesn’t invite us to experience the group’s dance routine in its full glory, constantly interrupted by crowd shots, a music-eclipsing voiceover, and scrappy character conclusions. It’s a shame, given how hard they worked to make their on-stage demonstration a reality, but you could also argue that the value is in the journey and not in the end result. In that regard, Hip Hop-eration will stamp a smile on audiences of any age.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Sulian superstar

I took my Grandma and one of her friends to see this and not only did they love it but I find myself smiling to. There are lessons to be leart from watching an older generation in any capacity but watching them this way in that they are having fun is so inspirational. As they say 'lyfe is for living' and we all loved it.


BY Corry nobody

I took my mum to see this after reading some good local reviews. I found it watchable but certainly nothing more.My mum (no spring chicken) actually found it a little offensive as she and her friends are all still very active and the whole premise of the docco is that it is amazing that this group of seniors can still get out of their armchairs. Are we saying that as soon as someone hits 70, they should rug up and get ready to die. She is right of course. If this group were actually talented... More dancers and competing then we'd have a reason to see this film. But they couldn't dance and so it was just condescending.Hide


BY freshdude superstar

I think it would be impossible not to like this film. It is an inspiring, uplifting and charming movie that will warm the heart of everyone who sees it.
Hip Op-Eration (the average age is 79) is is a dance group from Waiheke island, whose members remind us beautifully that life is the most precious gift we have and it is not to be wasted even and especially in the golden years.
To me the best parts of the film were not the dancing or the quest to the Hip-hop world championship but the warming... More connection between the Hip Op-Eration crew and the young Dziah Dance Academy members in Otara, as well as the touching personal stories and interviews with the group members and its funder Billie Jordan. Although they are at times funny, sad or moving, they all reach to the same conclusion and that is (just like the lyrics of the theme song): LIFE IS FOR LIVING.

I really hope grand-parents will take their grand-kids to this cross-generational film this school holiday.Hide


The Press Reviews

  • A little trimming and tightening to the storytelling here and there would have elevated the experience, but this is a really enjoyable watch. Full Review

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