First Position Friday, 03 April 2020

First Position

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    G: General.

  • The pitch:

    Very little is passé about professional ballet.

  • Starring:

    Joan Sebastian Zamora, Aran Bell, Rebecca Houseknecht, Michaela DePrince, Miko Fogarty, Jules Jarvis Fogarty, Gaya Bommer Yemini, Michelle Bell, Ryan Bell

  • Directed by:

    Bess Kergman

  • Running time:

    95 minutes

  • Rated:

    G (Australia), U (UK), NR (USA)

  • VIOLENCE/GORE:

    Stories of civil war violence (murder, mutilation) in Sierra Leone are discussed. BB gun is shown. Children are gently slapped, manipulated into extreme stretches during training. A girl with vitiligo is referred to as 'a child of the devil'. Slitting wrists (mentioned). Blood/gore: Foot injuries are seen and discussed: blisters, redness, swelling, floor burn, bruising, scabs, split toenails. Torn ligament, stress fractures, career-ending injuries, working through injuries, severe and persistent pain (mentioned). Bandages and splints are seen. A photograph shows a man about to receive an injection.

  • SEX/NUDITY:

    Form-fitting dance costumes are worn.

  • VICES/DRUG USE:

    Smoking.

  • LANGUAGE:

    Teasing, bullying, racist remarks mentioned. Religious references.

  • THEMES:

    Contemporary and classical ballet, ambition, discipline, pressure, performance, commitment, following your dream, military families, civil war, racism, adoption, scholarship, talent, ruthlessness, competition, homesickness, sacrifice, home-schooling, athleticism, pre-teen dieting and exercise, stage mums, living up to expectations, perfectionism, judging.

  • HIDDEN EXTRAS:

    Contortionist dance moves and training equipment (foot stretcher, arch exerciser). Dogs, sheep, horse. French, Spanish and Hebrew language sections (subtitled). Pre-teen weight concerns (discussed). Chicken is eaten. Peeing (mentioned).

  • CRITICS LIKE:

    Delicately handled. Camera lets dancers do the performing. Touches on deeper subject matter without devolving from core themes. Gripping and fresh, startling.

  • CRITICS DON'T LIKE:

    Formulaic.

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