The Damned and the Sacred

Movies, Documentary
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When does culture become essential to one's survival? A striking example is found in this graceful and quietly penetrating study of Chechnya's youth folk dance troupe. Whether in rehearsal at home, on tour through Europe, in interview or in moments of reflection, these stunning dancers (some from refugee camps) and their exemplary teacher make it clear that, for them, dance is literally life, and an activity given immeasurable added resonance by the environment of permanent violence, harassment and scarcity that is their country's plight). The tradition, a whirling, triumphant, but rigorously controlled fusion of Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian choreographies, suggests the resilience and passion that have kept the dancers, in their own words, 'from extermination'.

By: GE

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Director: Jos de Putter
Screenwriter: Jos de Putter