This is story about two generations of hip-hop dancers.
“I’m 34 and still dancing. I’ll dance until I win,” says Alun. Dancing is his life; it’s in his blood. During the 90’s, when Taiwan was just liberated from authoritarian rule, and despite disapproving looks and pressures from a traditional society, Alun formed the first Taiwanese hip-hop group, “The Party”. Due to various reasons, the group eventually disbanded and the members went their separate ways. But for Alun, the hip-hop journey continues because for him “as a dancer, I have to challenge myself otherwise I’ll always have regrets.”
Mingling with Alun’s uphill battle is the story of another dance group from the streets of Taipei called “Undergradu-eight,” was formed by a group of high school students. Born in the 90's generation and half Alun’s age, this new generation of hip-hop dancers doesn’t suffer from the pressures of society’s disapproving eyes. Instead, they are supported by the enthusiasm for pop culture and encouraged by everyone around them.
In 2008 Alun participated in Juste Debout – a worldwide street dance competition in Paris, and “Undergradu-eight” took part in an upcoming hip-hop competition. Will there be a happy ending? Do they care? Because hip-hop is about the spirit! So, all they have to do is just keep dancing!
Born in Taipei, SU Che-hsien graduated from National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) in 2005. He received his M.F.A. from the School of Applied Media Arts of NTUA in 2010. SU directed several award winning short fiction films. After participating in the production of the documentary My Football Summer, He became interested in documenting the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Hip-Hop Storm is his first feature-length documentary. SU also directs TV commercials and music videos.
From the Director
In the summer of 2007 I decided to make my first documentary and tried to find young hip-hop dancers on the streets of Taipei. I was immediately attracted to Alun. He is not a talkative person. Most of the time, he does not even finish his sentences. However, when I look into his eyes while he’s dancing, I can see he is as passionate now as he was 17 years ago when he first began. When I learned that he was going to participate in the world break-dance competition in France, I thought it would be an arduous and challenging process for him. But he didn’t think much of it, rather he just said: “I’m going anyway.”
This 34-year-old dancer doesn’t typically express his disappointments or frustrations. But while in Paris, concerns for his future kept him up on many sleepless nights. One night while pointing to the record of hip-hop masters, he asked himself: “I want to be as successful as these dancers, but did they succeed? What do they do when they got old? Sometimes hip-hop confuses me, is this the right thing to do?”
Alun is a lonely dancer and haven’t had many partners in his dancing career. Although this documentary cannot encompass his entire hip-hop life, what we do see is his attitude towards life: there is no grand plan, but there is always great enthusiasm!
The dance group, “Undergradu-eight”, is a typical new generation teenage street-dance group in Taipei. They might not be as skilled as their predecessors, but their enthusiasm for dancing and their friendships within the group are invaluable. They show more ambition and hope than some uninspiring adults.
※Best documentary, The 47th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Award (2010)
※The 2nd Vancouver New Asia Film Festival, 2009
※The 7th GZ Doc, screening, 2009
※The 6th China Independent Film Festival, student/short competition, 2009
※The 32th Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films, 2009
※The 1st Beijing International Film Festival, Documentary Top20, 2011