Anna-Claire Bevan has the write-up on BBoy for Life, a new film about young Guatemalans who have turned to break dancing in order to give meaning to their lives and to help escape the country's gangs.
Guatemala City´s ghettos are renowned for their gangs, drugs and violence, but when US-born director Coury Deeb stayed in one, he saw a different side to life in the slums – one of people trying to escape their surroundings, through dance.
“We met with some B-Boys and learned that though they look like gangsters, many of them are not gangsters or involved in criminal activities. Yet they live next door to gangsters who often pursue them to join their gangs.
“What we saw with the B-Boys was a group who desire to be a part of something good, to express themselves through art, through B-Boying, which is an element of hip hop. Their threat is very real so they dance largely to stay out of the gangs,” says Coury whose film production company, Nadus Films, believes in using what you´re good at to serve and empower people.
Shining a light on the breakdancing subculture of Guatemala City, BBoy for Life showcases the struggles and triumphs of Cheez, Gato and Leidy as they contend with dance and gang life in some of the roughest ghettos of Central America.