Break It All: The History of Rock in Latin America review – a stylish, energetic docuseries school of rock

December 16, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
4

Summary

Break It All: The History of Rock in Latin America has a lot of visual flair, but it isn’t all style over substance — this is an energetic, informative docuseries.

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4

Summary

Break It All: The History of Rock in Latin America has a lot of visual flair, but it isn’t all style over substance — this is an energetic, informative docuseries.

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with music documentaries lately, and coming not long after Emicida: AmarElo – It’s All For Yesterday, the new six-part limited series Break It All: The History of Rock in Latin America fits right into the thumbnails as another example of music docs that aren’t just about music.

Break It All is an energetic series with a real sense of visual flair, an obviously bumping soundtrack, and a strong sense of cultural context as it traces the evolution of Latin American rock music from the ‘60s onward, paying tribute to the trailblazers that helped to shape and then reshape the genre. The series works on the level of the individual but also in a macro sense as it chronicles seismic cultural shifts, marked by sociological trends and governmental interference.

The reputation of rock, like rap, as a kind of anti-establishment counter-cultural artistic outlet, is upheld by Break It All, which details mysterious fates of musicians, media uproar, and legislative crunch, all difficult to believe in hindsight but a very real reality at the time.

But even without all this fascinating insight, the docuseries would stand out on the strength of its snappy aesthetic and some neat formal tricks, as well as, obviously, its soundtrack. Taken as a whole, the package is slick, stylish, and informative, a genuinely compelling unpacking of a region’s musical history delivered with confidence in people wanting to hear it. Listen up.


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