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Polina / Polina, danser sa vie

1h 48m Drama, Youth 2016

AVAILABLE UNTIL 31 MARCH

Rigorously trained from an early age by a perfectionist instructor, Polina (played by Anastasia Shevtsova, a professional dancer who performs with Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre) is a promising classical ballet dancer. She is just about to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet when she discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question for her. Diverting from her plan, she leaves all her exacting preparation behind to study with famous choreographer Liria Elsaj (Juliette Binoche) in France, where she grapples with the realization that determination and hard work don’t always lead to success. Her next steps take her to Antwerp, where she discovers improvised dance, and where she realises her full creative potential.

Initially seeking an actor who could dance, the filmmakers auditioned some 600 hopefuls for the lead role. They eventually found Anastasia Shevtsova, a dancer who could act. Valérie Müller: “In addition to her abilities as a dancer, she had a very powerful look on screen - that little something extra that hints of mystery. She learned French for the film. Angelin [Preljocaj, internationally-renowned choreographer and co-director] created the final duet with and for her. It was powerful experiencing that adventure with her.” The film also features Jeremie Belingard of the Paris Opera Company and Juliette Binoche, who trained as a dancer with English-Bangladeshi choreographer Akram Khan. As well as being full of stunning dance sequences, Polina is a beautiful story about finding your own inner strength and confidence in order to be creatively fulfilled.

“Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bastien Vivès, Polina leaves little room for anything else; its focus is entirely on the passion of this wide-eyed girl of few words, but who possesses almost superhuman determination…This is a film for those who love dance, naturally, but also for those who wish to watch an uplifting story of personal fulfilment.” - Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa.

“When Polina stays focused on dance, it soars.” - Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com

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Director

Valérie Müller

Screenwriter

Valérie Müller

Source Novel

Bastien Vives

Cinematography

Georges Lechaptois

Languages

French, Russian

Subtitles

English

Country

France

Studio

606 Distribution

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