A film full of dance, and surprises with every turn. The White Crow does not fit into one genre box; it tells the story of acclaimed dancer, Rudolf (Rudy) Nureyev played by Oleg Ivenko. The film spends time building through Rudy’s childhood, his milestones, and the day he made the biggest decision of his life.
Politics have a heavy undertone as that’s what propelled Rudy into dance opportunities abroad. The theme that stands out the most is Rudy being advised that, “you take the stage and that’s the most important” (over technique). While technique is critical, it’s the story telling that makes Rudy stand out and what makes watching his personal story interesting. The story telling from a male was pivotal at a time when ballerinas danced and men were used as statue-like props for them to spin.
Infrequently, a film shows a main character, possibly even a hero, as unlikable as Rudy. While he is a brilliant dancer, an intelligent man, and incredibly driven, he is equally as alienating, abrupt, and downright rude. Side note: rude is a term I use here when I really mean an a-hole.
The movie engages the audience in personal conflict between not liking him and then jumping into the next scene where you feel pity for him. It creates a more honest portrayal of humans; people aren’t inclined to bounce back after horrible situations, most people would lash out in an unflattering ways as well.
Moviegoer Caroline is a CoSA Dance alumni and shared her thoughts as someone who spent decades studying and performing dance. “I loved it! It’s very historically accurate and it’s well done.” Knowing her writer-friend is not as dance savvy, she elaborated, “I can imagine it would be tougher to understand if you aren’t aware of Rudolf Nureyev. He is very famous in the dance world. It surprises me when people don’t know his name so it’s refreshing to see a movie made out of his story.”
For dancers and the uncoordinated alike, this is an interesting film as long as you have the patience for subtitles through half of the movie and don’t mind a quick flash of full frontal male nudity.
Movie times: click here
Genre: Biography, Drama
Run Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Actors: Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann
Rating: R for some sexuality, graphic nudity, and language