Cinema Review: Shake the Dust | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024  

Shake the Dust

Studio: Bond/360
Directed by Adam Sjoberg

May 19, 2015 Nas
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The Nas-produced Shake the Dust profiles several groups of breakdancers from Cambodia, Colombia, Uganda, and Yemen. Each dancer spends most of their screen time detailing their environment, their upbringing, their initial encounter with hip-hop, and the empowering influence of breaking in their lives.

The film lacks both the focus of 2007’s Planet Bboy, and the context and narrative of 2002’s The Freshest Kids. Technical issues are minimal, but present, and the film is sluggish at times. But it balances these shortcomings with raw, palatable storytelling that simultaneously demonstrates the cultural strength of the hip-hop arts, while illustrating the sub-culture’s ability to transcend barriers.

Shake the Dust does little to contextualize hip-hop’s origins, either in general or in these communities. Viewers unfamiliar with hip-hop’s creative tenants may miss a bit of the mystique here. The film’s ultimate beauty lies beyond the individual victories of the faces on the screen, and instead in its success in highlighting the shared cultural experiences of these disparate youth through hip-hop.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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