Polina is the first feature by leading French choreographer Angelin
Preljocaj, written and directed in tandem with documentarian Valérie
Müller. Fittingly, it is the story of a young Russian ballerina’s discovery
of contemporary dance. Starring Anastasia Shevtsova, a nineteen-
year-old ballerina from Saint Petersburg who learned French to play
the titular part of Polina, the film is a gripping insider’s look at the
worlds of ballet and contemporary dance: the sacrifices, competition,
and physical pain, and the thrill of stepping on stage. But it is also, and
most importantly, a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman
forging an artist’s path by learning to look at the world in her own way.
This path takes Polina from a classical ballet academy deep in Russia
to a contemporary dance company in Aix-en-Provence, and finally to
an independent, more productive creative life in Antwerp, a hub of the
European dance scene. Mixing professional actors such as Juliette
Binoche and leading dancers such as Jérémie Bélingard, a former
danseur étoile at the Paris Opera Ballet, Preljocaj and Müller pull off
the rare feat of telling a story that feels documentary in its detail and
sweepingly romantic in its narrative arc.

Valérie Müller
Angelin Preljocaj

Valérie Müller

Valérie Müller
Angelin Preljocaj

French, Russian
112 min.
France, 2017
Blu-Ray, DCP

Oscilloscope Laboratories