Bolshoi Babylon Reviews

April 8, 2019
... Inquisitive rather than intrusive and asking more question than it answers. However, it's refreshing that Read and Franchetti's work is not simply an ode to the ballet in all its splendour.
May 3, 2017
Spliced between all this inscrutable psychodrama are scenes of sumptuous dancing, though balletomanes will no doubt be let down that there isn't more discussion of ballet itself.
December 13, 2016
Bolshoi Babylon joins Frederick Wiseman's La Danse and National Gallery, and Nicolas Philibert's La Maison de la Radio, as another recent documentary that regards its chosen institution as a complex, living organism.
December 12, 2016
Co-directors Nick Read and Mark Franchetti present a compelling if ultimately somewhat dispiriting study of the sacrifices required to be part of this world-famous institution and the competitiveness that underpins its artistic supremacy.
February 23, 2016
It's not perhaps the handbags-and-hair-pulling exposé we were hoping for, but it looks splendid, and the contributors, including Russian Premier Dimitry Medvedev, are often as interesting for what they don't say as what they do.
January 10, 2016
Like the ballet itself, the Bolshoi may look beautiful from the stalls, but behind the scenes it's blood, sweat and tears ...
January 8, 2016
What emerges is a toxic fairytale about the beauty of artistic endeavour and the beastly behaviour that sometimes accompanies it.
January 8, 2016
The film may not fill you with admiration for Filin himself, who is a charismatic but very divisive figure, but it certainly induces a sense of awe about the work of the company itself.
January 8, 2016
Given the circumstances, Read has done a wonderful job. Instead of promoting or smearing a celebrated brand he's created a portrait of a workplace that feels both pertinent to Putin's Russia and universal.
January 7, 2016
Tellingly, little actual dancing is shown as Read snoops backstage, only scratching the surface of the scandal, though with plenty of simmering intrigue and splendid archive material.
January 7, 2016
Worth watching even by those of us whose interest in ballet barely extends beyond Billy Elliot.
January 7, 2016
A shocking tale of dysfunction, showing that the discipline needed for classical music creates violence and pain as a hidden byproduct, like nuclear waste.
January 7, 2016
Although it's good on the drive and neuroses that come with such a potentially short career, you yearn for more dancing.
January 7, 2016
It places the traumatised but still astonishingly high-functioning company in national and historical context, peels away its glamorous mask, and lets the backstage dramas of its various damatis personae unfold.
January 6, 2016
What a dynamite situation for British director Nick Read and his team to walk into.
January 4, 2016
A fascinating watch, and an interesting exploration of the age-old battle between art as creative endeavour and as commercial, and political, enterprise.
December 21, 2015
Beauty is the Bolshoi's desired brand identity, but when Read and Franchetti focus their macro lens on the personalities and micro-dramas that make up the company and its cumulative psychology, everything starts to look hideous.
November 26, 2015
These twin tracts of darkness and light, the sordid and the sublime, quite effectively submerge the viewer into a closed world.