Seen as Russia’s “secret weapon” by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, is it possible that the Bolshoi Ballet, a towering pillar of the nation’s culture, be justly compared to an ancient civilisation synonymous with oppression, corruption and vacuous luxury? Given its inextricable link to national identity and location a mere stone’s throw from the Kremlin, what would a vicious assault on its artistic director mean for Mother Russia as a whole? A partially successful affair, there is much to ponder over the course of British filmmaker Nick Read’s Bolshoi Babylon. Co-directed by Mark Franchetti, the film oscillates around the January 2013 acid attack on Sergei Filin, perpetrated by an aggrieved fellow dancer.
Bolshoi Babylon is released in the UK and Ireland on 8th January – visit CineVue here to read the full review!