Director Alastair Siddons

Alastair Siddons is a London-based film maker with a background in documentary and music video. He has made music videos for some of the UK's finest including Roots Manuva, The Streets, Kano and Crazy Titch and has worked on a wide range of award winning observational documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. TURN IT LOOSE is his first documentary feature.

Q & A with Alastair Siddons

 

Synopsis

Through the eyes of six competitors we leave behind any preconceived notions of what breakdance used to represent. As the film digs deeper into their lives, we discover an extraordinary form of non-contact combat that has evolved over 30 years to become a truly global phenomenon, stretching the limits of physical capability and pushing dance itself to astonishing new heights.

From very different corners of the planet, the six characters that lead us through the competition all have their stories to tell, from the professional to the rookie, from Senegal to Japan. We discover a generation united by a physical language that crosses cultures, and drawn together by a dream to be the best. What quickly becomes clear is that these B-Boys are a unique breed of athletes exceptionally skilled in a craft that combines martial arts, gymnastics and dance. For this is still a street culture, born out of poverty and hardship. And as we begin to understand the drive and determination that has pushed our characters to the very top of their game, we become absorbed in their journey through the competition.

Ben-J comes from the ghettos of Dakar, Senegal and is competing in his first international competition. Through Ben-J we understand what the pressure of competing in this event entails as he struggles to cope with the expectations of every B-Boy back in Senegal. Lilou, the French-Algerian Red Bull BC One Champion of 2005, is fighting his own war. Whilst fasting for Ramadan he attempts to restore his reputation in Soweto after having lost in the first round in 2006. Then there’s Roxrite, all American, despite the hardships he has endured living there since leaving Mexico at the age of eight.

Taisuke, from Japan, is our youngest competitor at 17. Against his parents’ wishes, he left their home in Nagasaki aged 16 to follow his dream of becoming the ultimate B-Boy in Tokyo. Meanwhile, the current champion, the Korean named Hong 10, is struggling to cope with the expectations of being the title-holder. Unlike Ronnie, a professional B-Boy from Las Vegas, who has a very specific purpose for being there – honoring the memory of his brother, and avenge losing out in last year’s final.

TURN IT LOOSE combines human drama with the visual intensity of the dance itself. For it is the dance that makes these characters truly exceptional. Within the framework of the competition, we weave their stories together, whilst they dazzle us with their skills, musicality and physical expertise.

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