Of all the Sinag Maynila entries this year, Beyond The Block is special on its own right. It is a full length documentary film which tackles about the Hip Hop dance in the Philippines and how drastically it evolves over the time. For someone like me who never paid any attention and interest to hip hop, I thought this movie will be extremely boring. I thought I will never appreciate such theme but surprisingly, I found it very interesting and I love how things got compiled from the humble origin of Hip hop in the Philippines and how it changes from one generation to another. When it comes to hip hop, I guess nothing can be more knowledgeable than Ricky “Boy” Carranza of the popular 1970s dance group Funk System. In fact, this is an auto biographical documentary directed by him that features his untold story , his humble beginnings, his struggles and how he keep his passion in dancing alive.
Interestingly, the movie is divided into five chapters. The chapters were chronologically arranged. The Chapter One is about the “Foundation”. It features how the hip hop started in our country. They feature those groups who are merely considered as the pioneers of hip hop in the Philippines which includes the A & W Computers, A & W Funky Friends and even the more established “Penthouse 7” (a 70s Dance show). What I really appreciate more about this docu film is how Ricky managed to compile those old clips which are so nostalgic.
The second chapter is about the “Pillars”, the groups who put hip hop and street dancing on the lime light. It seems like the Golden era of hip hop where there are so many dance group emerged. Each of them got their own moves to showcase. The chapter two covers the 1980s. Popular groups like Funk System, Knapsacks, Octomechanics, Bad Bananas, The Tigers (Jojo Alehar) were the highlights of this era. Dance shows like Dance 10 and Loveliness were also mentioned in the documentary. Several moves were also introduced such as Rommel Canlas’ “Popping” , Darwin Tuazon’s “Strutting” and Monty Flores’ “Breakdancing”. This chapter also pay homage to notable influencers such as Francis M (Eclipse) , Bboy Legends, Gary V and the Manoeuvers!
Chapter 3 emphasized on what so-called “New Stylers” which covered the years 90s to early 2000s. At this point, Ricky Boy Carranza struggled whether to continue his passion in dancing or pursue a much more stable career. In this generation (the one I belong with) goes to Universal Motion Dancers and Streetboys. Carranza described the styles in this generation as relatively simpler and merely influenced by western countries yet the Filipino Street Dance was raised to an all new level. Carranza, however, took a different path but like what he said “The more I ran away from myself, the more I fail” (talking about his passion in dancing). So he went back to his roots and give this career another shot.
Chapter 4 is about the “New Flag bearers” where different dance groups started to gain recognition in different international competition. Names like JMasta and the Philippine All Stars have become relevant. The final chapter is about the New Heroes of Filipino Street Dancing who continuously making our county proud in this field. Here, we got the Jabawokeez, The Crew and more. Overall, it was a cleverly compiled documentary which makes you realized that Pinoy is great in almost every field. We’re not just great singers but also amazing dancers and performers in general. I thought the film will be boring but it surprisingly caught my interest and felt so amazed on how the dancing evolved throughout the generations.
My rating for this movie is 3.5 out of 5