And what better way to prove this than a b-boy battle?
Benson Lee's "Planet B-Boy'' will be playing at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival March 18. It's already sold out, but you can always stand in line the day of to try to get tix.
BUT the great thing for us Bay Area folks is that if you miss the film at SFIAAFF, you can still catch it on the big screen. It opens on Friday, March 28 in Berkeley at the Shattuck Landmark and in SF (venue TBA).
The film is pretty awesome. Think a cross between Rize and Air Guitar Nation.
It focuses on an international b-boy competition called "Battle of the Year.'' Teams from France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Taiwan, and others, get to display their own unique styles of breakdancing.
I had no idea how awesome the Japanese and S. Korean teams are.
And Lee's got a great eye for cinematography. B-boys do their thing with beautiful scenes in the background - the Eiffel Tower, inside a Japanese subway, in front of a Buddhist temple.
In fact, my partner told me he's seen clips from this film on YouTube, like this one, focusing on a S. Korean team filmed at the DMZ. It's called "Run DMZ.'' Clever, eh? The scene is awesome and is pretty representative of the film as a whole.
Lee, who is Korean American, could've just made a film about the b-boys and their quest for 1st place in the competition, and it would've been popular.
But he takes it to another level, telling some of their stories that I think only an Asian or Asian American director could've drawn out and told with sensitivity. One focuses on the father/son relationship between a young Korean b-boy and his stoic father. Another focuses on a Japanese b-boy whose father passed away and whose supportive mother begins to understand his lifestyle.
Like the dance, the themes in the film are universal - that love, acceptance, self-respect, comraderie, and culture are all needed to survive and thrive in this world.
Check out the SFIAAFF, which runs March 13-23 in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose, guide here.
This entry is graciously sponsored by Toyota Matrix.