Film review: Hip Hop-eration

The kooky title of Hip Hop-eration (Metro and Rialto) rather put me off: another movie about zany oldsters showing that they are down with the young people seemed like the last thing the world needed.


Hip Hop-eration
Bryn Evans
Cast: Billie Jordan, Maynie Thompson, Rosemary MacKenzie, Eileen Evans, Winnie Mitchell, Kara Bang Bang, Terri 2 cent
Rating: (PG)
Four stars (out of five)


Fortunately the film immediately makes clear that these are not zany-down-with-the-beat funksters.

Instead this is a group of mostly women living on Waiheke Island, who meet every Sunday at the community hall to get some exercise and hang out with their friends.

Billie Jordan who runs the group is younger, but has always enjoyed the company of older people.

It is Billie who dreamed up the hip-hop dance idea and while no one particularly likes the music the dancing is fun and they stick with it.

The film is short and people in the dance crew's age bracket tend to dislike going on about themselves but quite a number of unexpected life histories are teased out.

The crew work on their routine and Billie plots to get them to the World Hip-hop Championships in Las Vegas. But getting to Las Vegas is not really the point of the movie.

As delightful as the old people are (and believe me, you could not manufacture more delightful old people) the unexpected point of this is how much joy seeing the crew dance gives to teenagers.

The Waiheke Islanders turn to an urban crew for guidance and it is instant love on both sides.

When they perform the young crowd does not see mockery, they see an openness to their culture. It's the love that keeps these aged hip-hoppers going.

- Christine Powley

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