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September 2014, Week 1


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TWN Distribution <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 5 Sep 2014 12:59:00 -0400
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ARCTIC HIP HOP Documentary Recommended by Video Librarian Magazine

​In Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Hip-Hop has been popular for many years. But
it’s the glamourized gangsta lifestyle on display in music videos that many
of the local kids choose to emulate. Capitalizing on the popularity of
Hip-Hop, social worker and longtime B-boy Stephen Leafloor has been
bringing positive Hip Hop workshops to Northern Canada. While dancing to
the beat, Inuit kids are encouraged to blend their rich, ancient culture
with Hip-Hop culture.

*This Canadian documentary revolves around a weeklong hip-hop workshop. In
2007, director Randy Kelly traveled to Cambridge Bay in Nunavuy--a
community of 1,477 (2006 census figure)--to document Stephen Leafloor, aka
B-boy Buddha, and his crew at work... He uses hip-hop dance as a means to
get kids moving. Says Laurence, a student at Kiilinik High School, "I
didn't know how to breakdance until this week and I love it." Leafloor also
teaches steps with hats and canes that look more like Bob Fosse
choreography, but he eschews a purist approach, encouraging kids to merge
Inuit traditions (like throat singing) into the mix. The kids also learn
about ciphers, circles, scratching, and beat-boxing. In addition, Leafloor
teaches them about the origins of B-boy culture, putting an emphasis on
creativity and community while also delivering a cautionary message about
the violent stance espoused by some rappers, explaining that this doesn't
apply to hip-hop as a whole. Kelly also folds in the narratives of two
students, 15-year-old Eric Kitgon, who plans to join the military, and
21-year-old Shannon Kemukton, a single mother who works at a bingo hall.
Eric, who takes on the rap non de plume Justic-E, spends part of each year
with his best friends' family since his mother works in a remote diamond
mine. Principal Mike Simms believes the hip-hop program motivates "kids who
are often difficult to motivate." At the conclusion, a battle in which
everyone shows off their newfound skills while exhibiting enthusiasm
appears to bear out the principal's belief in Leafloor's efforts.
Aud: C, P. (K. Fennessy)​



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