Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani, whose life the film heavily borrows from) is the frustrated wunderkind in a traditional Georgian dance ensemble. He strives for perfection, in fact, he’s too perfect, according to the strict leader of the group.
The effortless skill that new addition Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) possesses on the dance floor impresses the group more than Merab ever did, causing an unspoken tension as they compete to grab the last spot in the national ensemble – but their rivalry blossoms into something more that resembles a tentative romance.
'Georgian dance is based on masculinity,' the leader says in the film’s trailer. 'There is no room for weakness.' And Then We Danced deftly explores the constraints of masculinity and desire, and the effort that’s needed to break free. In the conservative country of Georgia, the weight of those restrictions is even more difficult to bear.
Swedish director Levan Akin evokes the repressed, strained emotion of Call Me By Your Name and God’s Own Country, but And Then We Danced is distinctive for its relevance. With news over the summer emerging that this year’s pride parade at Tbilisi was cancelled due to right-wing backlash, the film is more timely than ever.
And Then We Danced has been collecting its devout fans as it tours the globe on the festival circuit, and one stop the film will be making is at the London Film Festival in October. It is yet to be picked up for UK distribution, so mark your calendars for this unmissable film.
|What||And Then We Danced: Levan Akin's sensitive dance drama|
07 Oct 19 – 07 Oct 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|