To some, music has the power to change. Anna Boden and Ryan Flecks inspiring and probing Young Rebels takes up the dictum to examine how hip-hop, like any other art, can become a form of commitment and conscience in even the most oppressive of environments.
Following five passionate hip-hop groups and two producers around Havana, Cuba, over the course of a humid summer, Boden and Fleck chart the dreams and ambitions that pave the way to the Annual National Hip-Hop Festival. For weeks, we see not only the arduous work, problems with censorship, and tensions between art and commercialization that face the performers, but also the empowerment that their music can ultimately bring to the young people who make up the future of a nation.
With an edgy mix of performance footage by up-and-coming musical groups (including Anonimo Consejo, Hermanos de Causa, and Krudas) and illuminating interviews with such experts as hip-hop scholar Mark Perry, Young Rebels casts a fascinating eye on the trials and tribulations of budding artists struggling to have their voice heard. These are certainly rebels with a cause.
Fernando F. Croce
Avenue X; dir. Phil Roc; 15min/United States August and Max are normal teens: they dig cars, girls and video games. They are also deaf.