Georgia, where the LGBT population still face challenges, is the setting of the gay love story And Then We Danced, which is very good thanks to a great script, and great directing and acting.
Swedish Director Levan Akin’s (he is of Georgian descent) film is about young men of the National Georgian Ensemble where the typical dance routines are more masculine in nature.
Levan Gelbakhiania plays Merab. He desperately wants to dance for the main ensemble but is still struggling at the junior level, and is given great support by his partner Mary (Ana Javakhishvili). Merab lives with his mother, grandmother and lazy brother, all in a flat where money is hard to come by and where the electricity gets turned off because the bill is not paid.
One day a new dancer, Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) joins the junior ensemble, and soon enough he and Merab are among the few who have been chosen to audition for the main ensemble – both of their dreams. But on a weekend away with other dancers, Mareb and Irakli finally get to act on the chemistry that they had when they first met. But with the audition days away, and bad news from back home which might impact Irakli’s chances, will their new found relationship survive?
When And Then We Danced premiered in Georgia, it was met with protests and violence. But it’s an achievement, both in it’s telling of a gay love story in a country where gay love stories don’t exist (it’s also a story about forbidden love), and an achievement in film because the story is beautifully told (written by Akin), and the acting is realistic by two leads who had no acting experience prior to this film.
A must film to watch while you pass the time away at home.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.