Running Time: 106 mins.
This is a magical film by WIM WENDERS, lovingly conceived and shot as an open love letter to the late choreographer PINA BAUSCH. The Wuppertal Tanztheatre group whose median age appears to be around 39, execute the most sublime dance pieces, women in beautiful silk gowns, barefoot falling, falling, a grey room full of black chairs with dancers having their limbs moved to conform, everyone with eyes closed sometimes walking into walls… it sounds surreal and it is, and yet, it is so familiar you connect to the energy of the unspoken; and through the movement of the dancers, combined with the music, you are transported into the past, it feels as though Pina has glimpsed the contents of your dreams and held onto the emotions they contain; the dream is gone, but, somehow, Pina captures the essence.
Dance pieces are performed in countryside and city settings, the rarefied juxtaposition of the dancers within the different landscapes only serving to make the visuals more enthralling. The use natural elements is fundamental to the exquisite depth that is created by the dancers, choreography and photography, water, dirt and sand remind us that we are a part of nature, not apart.
I was so moved at times that I cried, (at least twice) the scene where there is a New Orleans style funeral procession, where the dancers walk along a dune, the women are dressed in colourful gowns and the men in suits with ties, all are without instruments but they use their hands to simulate not only the missing instruments but also a sense of joy and deep loss. This elegiac tribute to Pina Bausch, her vision and her artistry, twinned with those of Wim Wenders combine to create possibly the best film I have seen in many years.
The film is shot in 3D and is the first time 3D has ever worked for me. Suggesting that there is going to be a revolution for the serious filmmaker with this technology finally becoming an art form. Wenders, is always brilliant but I think he has surpassed himself this time. I cannot recommend this film highly enough sit back and be amazed.
Film rating: 5
Movie review by Rowena Johnson, WN Film critic.