Break the Limit showcases Bboy Quake’s infinite creativity
Go behind the scenes on a quest to make the Taiwan Olympic breakdancing team
Breakdancing has been big in Asia for a long time, but now that it will be an Olympic sport in 2024, the buzz has skyrocketed. Break the Limit [突破高牆] is a 36-minute documentary on Bboy Quake that goes behind the scenes in the Bboy world in Taiwan. It depicts the Bboys sharing tips and secrets, as well as their own personal desires when it comes to breakdancing.
LiFTED caught up with Frankie Li, the director of Break the Limit [突破高牆], to learn how the documentary got made, how she fit in with the Bboys, and what she took away from the experience.
How did you get the assignment of filming Break the Limit [突破高牆]?
In 2020, my short film Chilli Pepper won first place in the Myfone micro film competition, which Taiwan Mobile operated. Then they invited me to direct Break the Limit at the beginning of 2021 as a part of the program supporting artists.
How did you get the Bboys and Bgirls to open up to you?
When I started this project, I was unfamiliar with the breaking culture, and I was a bit intimidated by some OGs, as I wasn't sure if they liked me or not. But after a few days of shooting, I realized that the way they are has nothing to do with me, they are just being who they are, and in the scene of the rooftop gathering, where BBoys were sharing techniques and experiences, they taught me some moves.
I also watched battles for two weeks before starting the shooting, and when I was interviewing them, there were more things to discuss. When they thought I cared enough and was curious enough, they started to open up. And I do care!
How has making this film changed your opinion of breakdancing and Hip Hop in general?
I feel this project gave me the chance to understand breakdancing and Hip Hop to a depth that if I weren't the director, I might never be able to. Like, you don't have the chance to go to a stranger's house and make them answer all kinds of questions.
I believe that there are reasons that these people want to share their experiences and their love for breaking and Hip Hop. I saw how these dancers practice Hip Hop spirit in real life, and it's a lifestyle that encourages people to explore and express themselves freely and with respect for others and helps people to find their communities. I think it is beautiful. Like in ancient Greece where the Olympics started, philosophers had to practice sports and music to practice their philosophy. I feel battling is a combination of all three.
Congratulations on getting more than a million views in less than two weeks. What do you think of the reaction the Break the Limit [突破高牆] has gotten?
It’s lovely to see that many people are supportive! I hope BBoy Quake and Hip Hop spirit can keep on going! Also, I am very happy to know that Quake has made it to the finals for Red Bull BC One this year.
Will you follow breakdancing in the Olympics now that you did this?
Yes, I will!
Check out Break the Limit [突破高牆] below.