AWFJ Movie of the Week, October 12-19: A BALLERINA’S TALE

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abt_poster_copyOpening October 14, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is A Ballerina’s Tale, a stirring documentary about the life and career of African-American prima ballerina Misty Copeland. Documentarian Nelson George (Finding the Funk, Top Five) uses archival and new footage, and camera interviews with Copeland, other ballet stars and cognoscenti to chronicle Copeland’s career arc from her discovery of ballet at the age of 13, through her fascination with the dance and studies pursued with extraordinary self-discipline, her acceptance into a ballet company where she grand jeted herself from the corps de ballet into the spotlight, followed by unceasing determination to overcome an injury that could have summarily ended her days of dance. Read on… Read on…

With all of the essential difficulties of becoming a ballerina, Copeland had yet another obstacle to face — the inherent racism in her chosen cultural milieu, where women of color are typically presumed to be too muscular in body type to move with a ballerina’s style and grace. Copeland’s persistence in graciously making her way to the top in this environment of prejudice is most impressive. While paying tribute to Copeland’s extraordinary talent and tenacity, Nelson George provides a revealing look at the history of the dance, chronicling the shocking level of racism in the world of ballet around the globe.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Nell Minow: A Ballerina’s Tale – Misty Copeland is a wonder

Jennifer Merin: Brava Misty Copeland! George Nelson’s behind the scenes profile of the exquisite and gifted ballerina reveals her dedication to the art, and the extra challenges she faced of under-recognized racism in the art form and its milieu. A singularly important film about a woman taking on huge social issues and prevailing.

Film Details:
Title: A Ballerina’s Tale
Director: Nelson George
Release Date: October 14, 2015
Running Time: 85 mins
Language: English
Principal Cast: Misty Copeland, Deirdre Kelly, Susan Fales-Hill
Editor: Malika Weeden
Production Company: Urban Romances
Distributor: Sundance Selects
Official Site

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members:
Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of October 12 – 19:

October 12
Outlaws and Angels
Our Apartment
Souled Out
October 13
A Hitman in London
Dismembering Christmas
The Lives We Lead
Nowhere Girl
The Inhabitants

Oct 14
A Ballerina’s Tale
The Shadow Behind You
When It Rains

Oct 15
National Theatre Live: Hamlet
Red Butterfly
Something in the Dark
Home Video
Runaway Highway
The Middle Men

Oct 16
Goosebumps Movie
Crimson Peak
Beasts of No Nation
Bridge of Spies
All Things Must Pass
The Assassin
The Russian Woodpecker
Tales of Halloween
Watchers of the Sky

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.