Dancing Across Borders

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Dancing Across Borders

An illuminating profile but a sloppy snapshot of the immigrant experience, Anne Bass’s documentary charts the rise of Cambodian Sokvannara Sar on America’s ballet stages. The director, who sponsored Sar’s emigration, lets her proximity to the subject impair most of her filmmaking decisions; cultural tensions are glossed over, as when Sar’s unrefined techniques ruin a ballet audition. Yet it’s also that access—and personal devotion—that captures Sar methodically melding East and West into a one-of-a-kind career. The dance footage is indeed riveting, so why take 40 minutes to reveal the artist’s first full, breathtaking performance?—S. James Snyder

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