“You have to give up your old life before you can begin a new one”
The charismatic Benny Kimoto is at the front-and-center of the eight member Roc Kidz Crew, a revolutionary street dance team that forever changed the world of modern breakdancing.
That may seem like not much, but for some kids it's like football or basketball or acting or some other seemingly obscure talent - it's a way out and a way up.
From the remarkable Dergin Tokmak, a dancer who had polio as a child and now dances with crutches, to the world record-holding Kimoto himself, Roc Kidz Crew inspires and entertains in the 78-minute documentary directed by Fabian Kimoto that will be given a full-on DVD release on February 5th from indie distributor Corinth Films.
Focusing less on their individual stories and more on their collective talents, The Rising Sun follows this multicultural break-dancing crew throughout a European tour that seems to offer little in the way of financial reward yet is filled with a wealth of rich rewards transcending the tangible and entering the realm of joy that is seldom captured on film. The members of the Roc Kidz Crew live this life, stunning in their discipline and devotion to the craft that is largely self-taught and self-nurtured. They live, train and celebrate together, an indication that the film's devotion to their collective spirits is an intentional one despite the inevitability of some individualized focus being given to Kimoto and a little more toward Tokmak.
Both are compelling, charismatic figures.
Kimoto is a former Guinness World Record holder who held the record for head spinning with 62 spins and who has been featured in many international break-dancing competitions. Tokmak, we know, defies disability stereotypes as he travels around by wheelchair and dances on crutches after childhood polio. While Tokmak's story is meant to inspire, the focus of it is actually on him as the dancer and and The Rising Sun tells it quite well.
With Fabian Kimoto's remarkable lensing, The Rising Sun captures the fluid body movement and choreography involved in break-dancing and the stunning, individualized body movements brought to life by each Crew member. While it may seem that The Rising Sun is simply another youth culture story, it's instead the story of years of devotion and of lifetimes devoted to dance and Hip Hop culture internationally. It's an extraordinarily entertaining film to watch even if, at times, we can't help but wish we learned a bit more about these dancers, what drove them to dance and what drives them to continue.
Picked up by indie distributor Corinth Films for an HD digitally remastered DVD/Blu-ray and On-Demand release that really brings the film to life in new and exciting ways, The Rising Sun is a necessary addition for those who embrace entertainment docs and, especially, those who celebrate inclusive creativity.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic