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Turn It Loose (2009)

In September 2007, 16 of the world's best b-boys battle one on one in a disused power station in the heart of Soweto, South Africa, to determine who will be the next world champion. TURN IT... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Ronnie Abaldonado ...
Himself (as bboy Ronnie)
Hong10 ...
Himself (as bboy Hong 10)
Lilou ...
Himself (as bboy Lilou)
RoxRite ...
Himself (as bboy RoxRite)
Taisuke ...
Himself (as bboy Taisuke)


In September 2007, 16 of the world's best b-boys battle one on one in a disused power station in the heart of Soweto, South Africa, to determine who will be the next world champion. TURN IT LOOSE is a film about this competition. Through the eyes of six competitors we leave behind any preconceived notions of what breakdance used to represent, and 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 21st century 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 own stories to tell. From the professional to the rookie, we travel from Senegal to Japan, and discover a generation united in a physical language that crosses cultures. Drawn together by a dream to be the best, what quickly becomes clear is that these b-boys... Written by Alastair SIddons

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dance | eyes | breakdance | battle | africa | See All (9) »


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Release Date:

30 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Déjalo salir  »

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User Reviews

Carandiru Meets B-Boying
20 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

Seven years ago at the Edinburgh Film Festival I was lucky enough to see a 'Breathe Control', a documentary about the unofficial fifth element of Hip-Hop, Beat-Boxing. I say 'lucky' because the film was never released, and lots of people still want to see it - My review is still on the films page on IMDb. 'Turn it Loose' feels like part two of in an 'Elements' documentary series, focusing as it does on another one of Hip-Hop's elements, Break dancing... or to give it it's accepted term 'B- Boying'.

Every year see's Red Bull put on the One B-Boy Championship where dancers square off against each other in a knock-out one-on-one tournament. Each dancer dances three short 30 second rounds against each other in an arena while the crowd cheers and whoops it up from the stands. Hong 10 won the tournament in 2006, and returns to defend his titles in 2007's battle, which the documentary is based around. Hong 10 is a young Japanese kid who lives for the thrill of that baying crowd. He compares the rush he gets in the battle and from the cheers with almost drowning as a kid, that sense of panic when you know you are out of breath.

Lilou is a cocky French Algerian who won the competition in 2005 but got put out in the first round in 2006. He refuses to hand back his winning Championship belt to Red Bull as without it he is nothing. He's a Muslim and we see him praying to Mecca in the build up to the competition, which he enters wearing a traditional Arab headscarf to show his solidarity with Muslims around the world when he battles American Roxrite in the semifinal.

Roxrite wins, and the crowd starts booing. Lilou takes this as a personal win. Roxrite puts it down to the fact

he's American. The championship takes place in Johannesburg, and he says everyone thinks it's all great for everyone in the US. We learn he's had a tough life and grew up homeless on the streets with his family and he believes that's what gave him his drive to succeed in the B-Boy world.

My favourite B-Boyer was Taisuke, not for his abilities (Roxrite perhaps the most technically accomplished dancer), but for his Samurai-like take on life. He lives on his own in Tokyo after leaving his disapproving parents in Nagasaki. His entire life is dedicated to the art of B- Boying. He says "I live for the Breakbeat. Even when I'm old I will always remember the Breakbeat. It's with me till I die". I just wish it wasn't in Japanese, but English, so I could sample it for a tune.

The introduction of each character always takes parts during one of the battles. The camera will freeze in the middle of an amazing move and we hear the bboy's voice-over. It had a feel of Caradiru/City of God feel to it - IE. I am Lilou, this is my story. While I liked this at first it started to grate after a while as it interrupted the flow of the battles themselves. This narration also felt a bit too 'X-Factor'/BGT at times, every B-Boyer giving us a tragic story relating to his life, that while I sympathised, was unnecessary.

While I really enjoyed the film, that came from the characters, their personal philosophies and the little moments of comedy that came from those beliefs. The dancing whilst spectacular did get a little samey at times, and because of this I'm willing to forgive the continuous character story interruptions as it might have been a poorer film without them. However I couldn't help but feel a lack of emotional connection between filmmaker and subject that was abundant in 'Breathe Control'. What BC lacked in budget, cinematography and direction it more than made up for in it's enthusiasm for the subject matter. 'Turn it Loose' seemed to be made by an insider looking into a scene he isn't part of. The film was made by an ex music video director, Alastair Siddons in conjunction with the sponsors Red Bull and I feel this corporate driving force was to the film's detriment. I'm going to dig out 'Planet B-Boy' on DVD now, hopefully that will be free of corporate shilling.

PS. A bonus of the feature was also seeing Spike Jonze's new short featuring skaters in slow motion, on the build up to tricks. It continuously cut to another just as the money shot was about to happen and eventually built to a collage of stunts where the ramps exploded. Very cool.

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