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If your only idea of breakdancing comes from 1980's movies like Breakin', its follow up Electric Boogaloo or Flashdance, then get ready to be amazed with its evolution in the dynamic Planet B-Boy. Born in the South Bronx as a key part of hiphop culture, "breakdancing" was originally known as "b-boying." Director Benson Lee makes his foray into documentaries by giving b-boying-which went underground after its heyday as a fad-its due respect. Though still rooted in the old skool style, today b-boying has morphed into an astounding dance form, b-boys and b-girls can be found across the globe, from China to the Czech Republic, and they all come together at the annual Battle of the Year in Germany: the "World Cup of b-boying." Lee follows crews from South Korea, Japan, France and the U.S. as they qualify and prepare for their ultimate battle. Like the World Cup, the Battle represents more than just a competition. For b-boys, it's a way of life. Whether they consider themselves artists, athletes or both, the event is a way for each crew to represent its country, and to prove themselves creatively and physically, all the while showing that b-boying crosses linguistic, racial, socio-economic and national borders. Lee insightfully blends personal stories from each crew with stunning rehearsal footage highlighting their individual style and strengths. The preparations culminate in an exhilarating face-off. The palpable energy of each crew makes it clear that it was worth every minute of sacrifice to fuel their passion.
Born in Toronto, reared outside of Philly, and educated at the University of Hawaii, BENSON LEE is a Korean-American director/producer/editor whose life wouldn't be the same without hip-hop culture. His first feature, Miss Monday, which he made in London, premiered at the feature competition at Sundance where it received the Special Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor. Planet B-Boy is his first documentary and the second greatest experience of his life. Currently, Benson runs Mondo Paradiso Films NYC, a film company devoted to the development of projects with a focus on themes that transcend polireligious- socio-economic borders, all for the purpose of promoting cross-cultural understanding.