"And Then We Danced": jumping of morals


We did not really think it would be possible to take a look at Georgian folk dance one day, let alone an early film that picks you cold as soon as you swallow several liters of expensive espressos. And Then We Danced, on this account, succeeds a tour de force. Signed Levan Akin (Cirkeln …)Swedish filmmaker of Georgian origin is the third feature film, this story of a sexual emancipation full of hesitation, gestures abolished and tendrils on the toe tips to fart ankles confronts the young blond curly Merab not only to the competitive adversity of the course of the aspiring dancers to enter the prestigious National Ballet, but also to the emotions of a sudden attraction for a newcomer, the brown Irakli, who does not challenge him only on the bizarre technicality mid-martial mid-mountain choreographies that are the pride of the country.

Merab is supposed to be one of the best dancers in the class, but his teacher never ceases to humiliate him and ask for a stronger and upright outfit when the boy tends to rewrite the virile grammar of his untidy and vaguely androgynous physique. khandjlouri, kartuli and other goat jumps, all of whose sweetness has been washed away at the mercy of historical vicissitudes, especially during the Soviet period. The teacher explains to the young man that this dance requires a "Virginal candor" which should not be sexualized by out-of-subject affetias.

Escapes. It's a big shame because Merab and her friends are still in the age of the full hormonal boom, boys and girls seeking after training to be entertained by the weight of family and social wading. The promiscuity of the apartments, the coexistence within them of several generations (Merab lives with his mother, his grandmother, shares his room with his brother), the lack of money and perspectives make the breakaways in the city both vital , disordered and strongly alcoholic. But the Orthodox Church's monitoring of good manners and a respectful mentality and what people say will ultimately make it impossible for anyone to truly feel free to do what they want, so The film also touches on the way the dance here concentrates the contradiction of a discipline that mobilizes the ecstatic passion of being another and an injunction to stay in the ranks.

Freshness. The filmmaker explained that he decided to make the film after attending the frightful embryonic Gay Pride of 2013 in Tbilisi (a procession of fifty brave LGBT) who was blocked and stormed by a horde of several hundreds of reactionary militants, if not fachos, heated by the priests of the all-powerful Orthodox Church. Even though a law intended to protect LGBT persons has been enacted, the situation remains unenviable for sexual minorities. The flirtation of Merab and Irakli is quickly denounced and vilified as unnatural.

And Then We Danced, in its twists, does not show a great originality, and the expected stages of homo romance are saved both by the curiosity aroused by an objectively little filmed Georgian context and the ease and luminous freshness of the actor (and dancer) principal, Levan Gelbakhiani. The film is obviously in the running for the Queer Palm …

Didier Péron

Directors' Fortnight

And Then We Danced from Levan Akin, with Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili … 1 h 46.

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