“A Beautiful Tragedy” is a character driven documentary film about 15 year old Oksanna who follows her mother’s dream to see her become a prima ballerina. She devotes nine years of her childhood to study ballet at a high-end ballet school in Perm, Russia.
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"A Beautiful Tragedy" is about the jealousy and pressure for beauty and perfection we find in one of the world's most prestigious ballet schools. But perfection comes at a price. From the age of eight until they are grown-ups the girls attending the school get to see their parents only twice a year, and most of them are anorectic from the pressure to satisfy the strict physical demands. For most of the girls who attend the school, ballet represents their only chance for a prosperous future. Every year 500 girls come to audition. They have beautiful dreams and work tremendously hard to achieve their goal. After nine years of training, 30 students will graduate, but only one or two of them will succeed in becoming a prima ballerina.
Oksanna is on the verge of giving up. Her mood changes from hope to despair, and she cries every night. But every morning she pulls herself together, desperate to fulfill her mother’s dream. Will she make it?
Ballet is beauty. But it also carries an implicit expression of the brutality and the demand for subordination in Russian society.
"A Beautiful Tragedy" is David Kinsella's second film about coming of age in Russia. He also directed "Loveletters from a Children's Prison" (Faction Film, 2005).
"A Beautiful Tragedy" premiered on NRK [Norwegian State Broadcasting] in February 2008. It has also been broadcast by Artsworld Channels/BSkyB [UK], MacTV [UK], Axess Media [UK], EBS [South Korea], ERR [Estonia], GA&A [Italy], MICO [Japan], TVP [Poland], VRT [Belgium], RUV[Iceland] and YES [Israel].
The film has also been exhibited at a long list of film festivals all around the world over the past two years, and has received several awards.
"A Beautiful Tragedy" is distributed for broadcast by
DR International Sales in Copenhagen.
Length: 52 minutes (TV); 58 minutes (Extended)
In Russian with Russian or English Narration.
Subtitled in English.
Format: DigiBeta PAL 16:9
Director: David Kinsella
Videography & Stills: David Kinsella
Script & Research: Anna Sirota
Producer: Dag Hoel
Production Manager: Eirik Wattengård
Post Production: KOLECTIV Romania
Editor: Serban Georgescu
VFX & Design: Serban Jipa
Post Production Audio: Andi Dumitrescu
Music: Dreamscores /
Raymond Enoksen, Geirmund Simonsen
Sound Recording: Georgy Rupyshev
Narrator: Julia Shubareva
Faction Film © 2008