United Kingdom 2018, 109 min, English, Hebrew subtitles
Rudolf Nureyev had immense charisma, incredible talent, and a dramatic life story, and if that was not enough—the filmmakers unearthed unseen footage of his performances and rehearsals, including some contemporary pieces previously thought undocumented.
Predictably a very intense man, Nureyev was not always nice—at times even aggressive and mean—but always captivating. His meandering career path took him from his poor Tatar home to the grand stages of the Soviet Union, and from there—after his defection—to the hearts of all Western dance lovers. The film traces his life using footage from his great performances, recollections told by him and those who knew him, passages from his memoirs read by the wonderful Siân Phillips, and rare footage of historic events from his lifetime. Parts of his story are illustrated with specially choreographed dance sequences.
Previous Festivals: London bfi Film Festival
Production: Jacqui Morris, Trevor Beattie
Production Company: Universal Films, Little Compton Films, Rattling Stick
Editing: David Fairhead, Timothy J. Moss
Cinematography: Michael Wood
Research: Jacqui Morris, Rosie Wells
Soundtrack: Andy Cowton
Music: Alex Baranowski
Brother and sister directing team, David and Jacqui Morris, worked in advertising before going into the film business. Their first work was a feature-length gay-themed romantic comedy called Mr. Right, which showed on the opening nights at New York, Miami, San Francisco, Melbourne and Berlin gay film
festivals. In 2011, they started work on McCullin, a life of Don McCullin, the internationally acclaimed war photographer. The resulting documentary received two BAFTA nominations - Best Newcomers and Best Documentary. In 2013, the film had a two-month theatrical release, before being broadcast on the BBC's prestigious Imagine slot. On the strength of McCullin, the iconic British newspaper editor, Sir Harold Evans, entrusted the pair to document his eventful life. The resulting work, Attacking the Devil, won the jury prize at the Sheffield
Doc/Fest and also won a Grierson award for best historical documentary. It was released worldwide by The Weinstein Company early in 2016.