DIRECTOR: Levan Akin
SWEDAN / 2019
FRIDAY 30 APRIL 3.00PM
FRIDAY 28 MAY 3.00PM
RUNNING TIME: 113 MINS
Dance is based on masculinity. There is no room for weakness.
Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) plays a dancer who wants, more than anything, to be part of the National Ensemble of Georgia. The Ensemble is the tightly-guarded home of traditional Georgian dance, and demands much of its dancers: obedience, conformity and in the case of men, masculinity. Merab, working in a dull job as a waiter, is almost in love with his girlfriend Mary but has stirrings of doubt about his sexual identity. His situation is further torn by the clash between the existing, strictly traditional, Eastern European society and the forces of change in a new Europe where girls smoke, and men wear earrings. During an audition for the Ensemble, he is challenged as a dancer – and as a man – by another bold, confident, elegant student. Director Levan Akin maintains a high energy style throughout, leaving both dancers and audience oozing sweat and anticipation as to Merab’s place in the Ensemble, his place in the world, and his recognition as a gay man. “This film is not about coming out,” says Akin. “It’s about owning your identity.”
AWARDS: Winner, Peace Award, Montréal Festival of New Cinema 2019