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Nureyev - The White Crow

Nureyev - The White Crow

Großbritannien/Frankreich 2019 - mit Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann, Adèle Exarchopoulos ...

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Originaltitel:The White Crow
Regie:Ralph Fiennes
Produktionsland:Großbritannien/Frankreich 2019
Laufzeit:Ca. 127 min.
FSK:6 years and older
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Paris in the 1960s: At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent its best dance company to the West to show that they were also an enormously strong cultural power. One of the dancers of the Leningrad Kirov Ballet is Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko), who delights the audience with his virtuosity. But for the KGB, his rebellious nature is a real problem. Every step of the young dancer is watched by spies. Nureyev is aware of this, yet he lets himself be carried away by the beautiful Chilean Clara Saint (Adèle Exarchopoulos) into the cultural hustle and bustle of Paris. The more time he spends here, the greater his desire becomes to enjoy the freedoms of the West permanently. He decides that he can no longer go back to his homeland and wants to apply for political asylum in France. A risky wish whose realization could become extremely dangerous for Nureyev… 

With his third directorial work "Nureyev - The White Crow" Ralph Fiennes tells the incredible story of the Soviet ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev. The true events have been changed a bit by screenwriter David Hare ("The Reader") through some dramaturgical freedoms. Nevertheless, it was important to Fiennes not only to portray the events as authentically as possible, but also the time in which they took place. Costumes, equipment and the decision to shoot on 16mm instead of digital should achieve this effect. All in all, the 60's in Paris and the special atmosphere during the Cold War period are a real success. But through the use of many flashbacks, which should reveal more about the dancer's life, a few lengths come up again and again, under which the tension of the main plot has to suffer a little...

Actingly, on the other hand, the drama can convince all along the line. A special highlight is that Fiennes was able to win the Ukrainian world-class ballet dancer Oleg Ivenko for the title role, who is not only convincing in the ballet sequences. He is supported by an international ensemble which includes Louis Hofmann ("Dark") from Germany and Adèle Exarchopoulos ("Blue is a warm colour") from France. The good play of the actors also helps over some sequences that seem too dry or a little bit tough. 

"Nurejew - The White Crow" is a very ambitious work, and it's always worth noting that it was a real passion project for Fiennes. The result isn't always convincing, but if the movie works, it's really good. The sequence alone, in which Nureyev asks for political asylum at the airport in Paris, can hardly be surpassed in tension. Moments like this also make this movie based on true events: Absolutely worth seeing!

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