Movie Short Review: ‘Turf Nation’

Greetings again from the darkness. “I still ain’t made it to my goal.” One of the dancers admits this is what keeps him going, though he never actually discloses what that goal is. In this 13 minute documentary short, director Jun Bae takes it to the streets of the Bay Area, and the tunnels and train cars of BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

Smeeze is a dance move you’ve likely seen on rap videos, and this group of dancers utilizes that, as well as tutting, gliding, and bone-breaking … that last one is particularly cringe-inducing for those of us not double-jointed. They perform for the passengers and take up a collection afterwards. One of them calls this the steady income, while another refers to BART as “his place of business”.

Lavish is the dancer credited with creating “The BART Show”, and it’s these performances that keep them going between video shoots. Listening to them take credit for turning a rap song into a “movement” is quite interesting, as they sincerely believe that’s the case – despite the rappers getting the fame. We see them perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, as well as some rap video clips. The language is pretty rough – lots of profanity and uses of the n-word – but this is the world these street dancers have made their own. We may not connect with the individuals, but we recognize that they have created their own enterprise and seek the independence that we all value.

Latest posts by David Ferguson (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.