If you loved Young@Heart, Ping Pong or Autumn Gold, about a group of geriatric athletes preparing for the World Masters Competition; Hip Hop-eration is for you. A heartwarming documentary that challenges perceptions of what it is to grow old; Hip Hop-eration celebrates living life to the fullest and is full of laughs, colourful characters and Kiwi attitude.

The documentary follows a group of adventurous Waiheke Island senior citizens aged between 65 and 94 who are on a quest to perform at the World Hip-Hop Championships in Las Vegas in 2013.

Director Bryn Evans takes a conventional approach, introducing us to some of the characters and following their progress, and nothing more complex is needed as his subjects are charming and witty, telling stories of lives well lived while getting to grips with krumping.

Maynie Thompson (95) is the oldest member of the Hip Op-eration crew and along with fellow dancer Kara (Kit) Nelson (94), was the subject of the documentary Tea, Scones and Nuclear Disarmament. They're just two of the many fascinating characters with moving stories about love and loss, conversations about ageing, and life on Waiheke Island over the years.

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What the group has in common (well, almost all of them) is self-deprecation and, as they come together as a hip-hop dance crew, you find yourself laughing with these budding twerkers.

There are some youngsters as well, including crew members from the Dziah and Krash dance troupes, but it's the troop's manager, teacher, driver, friend and caregiver, Billie Jordan, who steals the show. Passionate and patient, funny and honest, Billie moved to Waiheke Island after the Christchurch earthquake, hoping to live "like there was no tomorrow".

This self-confessed "mad" young woman is doing just that and she's taking a group of senior citizens along for the ride, reminding us that the elderly can enrich our lives as much as we can enrich theirs.


Cast: Maynie Thompson, Kara Nelson and Billie Jordan
Director: Bryn Evans Running
Time: 93 mins Rating: PG (Offensive language)
Verdict: Warm, infectious, uplifting fun.

- TimeOut