86 minutes, U.K., 2015, Digital

This film was released 8th January 2016, and is no longer screening.

★★★★ The Irish Times ★★★★ The Guardian

Moscow’s Bolshoi company is justly revered as one the world’s greatest cultural institutions; founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is more than a ballet company, it is one of Russia’s most powerful and exportable brands, a symbol of the country’s heritage. However, as this gripping backstage documentary reveals, it is a company fraught with internecine strife, which came to a head in 2013 with the unsettling case surrounding an acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin, leaving him with third degree burns and blind in one eye, a hit orchestrated by a dancer from his own company.

Through candid interviews with dancers, staff, loyal fans, and most crucially, incoming company director Vladimir Urin, co-directors Read and Franchetti artfully create a portrait of an organisation struggling to preserve its vision in the face of hostile forces.(Notes by David O’Mahony)

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