When you are a kid, you are the biggest dreamer. The world can be conquered and the worst moment is fleeting. Enter Breaking A Monser: a film about three African American boys from Brooklyn with a bursting, buzzing talent for heavy metal. They form a vibrant, fresh, and determined band called Unlocking The Truth. Their energy and sparkling light is immediately charming, which makes their battles with the older, richer, and mostly caucasian music industry seem like a sad, David and Goliath war.
The music industry is a rough place. It commodifies creativity, and takes the most spiritual thing, art, and turns it into material business. Thus, these three young boys, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, and Alec Atkins, are challenged to protect their genuine love from becoming a novelty act. Yes, they are black, which to a mostly “white” genre, seems like a rarity. There are scenes where it seems like the boys are a walking Haley’s comet to the music industry: a distant oddity. Three black 7th graders that play a “white” genre: Wow! It is in these moments you feel truly bad. When children are passionate about something it is so pure and potent that their desire can bust out of them like, seams on a teddy bear. When Malcolm, Jarad, and Alec play, their joy is so clear, you will feel enlivened again. Hence, to see an industry of elders challenge the beauty of a child’s love is disheartening.
Child stars and prodigies are known for being treated as marionettes, and Breaking A Monster shows said quiet cruelty. Instead of protecting these boys’ innocent, unadulterated love and talent, there are constant attempts to alter them into “welcome posters’ for the seemingly “unfriendly” genre. It is as if a giant machined is enveloping their heart, which in many ways it is. The music industry can be a machine, and you have to do all you can to make your soul does not grow numb because of it. Hence, what is fascinating is how bright and conscious these boys are into their novelization. They see the unwanted changes to their looks and sounds occurring and, like children, are open with their disgruntles. Even in their disappointments, they exhibit the clean truthfulness and resilience of children. They, literally, just want to play music. Yet, all is not bad as Alan Sacks comes in as a musical grandfather to protect these young talents.
My mother always said,”All you need is one”. One person to look at you. One person to listen to you, One person to protect you. One person to believe in you. Alan Sacks is that person for Unlocking The Truth. Sacks comes in like a breath of fresh air, and one of the only adults that sees these children for their age and gentle happiness for heavy metal. I wish more adults, particularly the parents of the children, had been featured to see closer parties to the kids comment on the industrialization of their talents. Although, it is exciting to see youth recognized and rising, Breaking A Monster shows that with every good comes bad.
Breaking A Monster was beautifully directed by Luke Meyer, whom approaches the film like, a character piece. In one side, you analyze the beauty of a child’s heart and, in another, the ugliness of an industry’s one. The film comes out into theaters on June 24. Please give yourself this treat!