“Stunning. The Real Life Black Swan” Huffington Post UK
Nick Read & Mark Franchetti | UK | 2015 | 86 min
In 2013, the artistic director of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre, Sergei Filin, was the victim of a shocking acid attack, suffering third degree burns and losing sight in one eye as a result. The bizarre news went around the world. Who could have organised such a vicious attack?
BOLSHOI BABYLON is an equally revealing and shocking look behind the scenes of the world famous Moscow dance theater, where intrigue, envy and sabotage seem widespread. Nick Read’s critically acclaimed documentary uncovers the sinister environment behind the limelight. While the truth about the attack gets revealed, the dancers continue their quest for the ultimate, almost unattainable ideals of beauty, elegance and perfection in a tradition-rich house, which in many ways has become a mirror of the Russian reality outside its walls.
In BOLSHOI BABYLON several players from this closed world, from soloists to members of the corps de ballet, board members and teachers speak frankly about what it means to aspire to a life as a top dancer in the leading dance theater of Russia. And what you must be ready to sacrifice for it.
“A shocking tale of dysfunction, showing that the discipline needed for classical music creates violence and pain as a hidden byproduct, like nuclear waste.” – Guardian
“It looks splendid, and the contributors, including Russian Premier Dimitry Medvedev, are often as interesting for what they don’t say as what they do.” – Irish Times
“Bold, ambitious and gripping” I-D
“These twin tracts of darkness and light, the sordid and the sublime, quite effectively submerge the viewer into a closed world.” – LA Times
Premiere screening on Wednesday 11 January, 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam, with an introduction by the Senior Ballet Teacher of the Dutch National Ballet, Rinat Gizatulin.
Cracking the Frame
A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.