A tale of twinkletoed sacrifice and triumph
Only When I Dance (—) Director Beadie Finzi Featuring Irlan Santos De Silva, Isabella Coracy, Marizza Estrella Documentary Portuguese with subtitles 78 mins three star rating A boy from a tough, poor neighbourhood who wants to be a ballet dancer – I
Only When I Dance (-) Director Beadie Finzi
Featuring Irlan Santos De Silva, Isabella Coracy,
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Portuguese with subtitles
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three star rating
A boy from a tough, poor neighbourhood who wants to be a ballet dancer - I think we know a film about that. Well now there is a documentary about it too.
Though it's being pushed as a real-life Billy Elliot, the comparison doesn't really hold. Firstly, the favelas of Rio trump miners strike Yorkshire for rough. The boy's father is pleased as punch by his dancing son - he has his name tattooed on his forearm - and all the family couldn't be more supportive.
Finally, the film is not just his story, but split with a young black girl, Isabella, whose chances of making it are hampered by the colour of her skin.
Only When I Dance is a straightforward, honestly told story of hope, sacrifice, triumph and disappointments. Many directors would have made the climax the big competition in New York where they have the chance to get picked up by an international school or company, but this film accepts that real life doesn't always conform to inspirational underdog narratives.