The director Icíar Bollaín presents the story of the Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta, a legend on the dance world and the first black dancer to perform some of the most famous ballet roles. A dancer who did not want to dance.
Isra and Cheíto are two brothers who have gone their separate ways. When Isra comes out of prison and Cheíto's long mission in the navy comes to an end, they both return to the isle of San ... See full summary »
Israel Gómez Romero,
Francisco José Gómez Romero
In the celebration of the day of the political prisonner the victims of the Franco repression meet in the jail of Valencia. Among them are parvenues, mafiosi, bankers, and a communist ... See full summary »
Luis García Berlanga
Margo is struggling to deal with her son, Jon a rebellious and free-spirited teenager who runs with a bad crowd. After Jon is expelled from school, Margo sends him to live with his ... See full summary »
The identity of Petra's father has been hidden from her all her life. When her mother dies, Petra embarks on a quest which leads to Jaume, a celebrated artist and a powerful, ruthless man. ... See full summary »
American writer in Paris is hired to do a script for an edgy young director he can't stand. When he falls in love with the director's cold and manipulative pretty sister, his life starts to unravel and he realizes that he's been used.
Year 1974, Spain. Felipe (Fernando Ramallo) is a teenager who travels with Lorenzo (Antonio Resines), his widowed father. Their only property is the Citröen DS with which they go from one ... See full summary »
Emilio Martínez Lázaro
Yuli is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father, Pedro, who considers him the son of Ogun, an African god and a fighter. As a child Yuli avoids discipline and education, learning from the streets of an impoverished and abandoned Havana. His father, however, has other ideas, and knowing that his son has a natural talent for dance, sends him to the National Ballet School of Cuba. Despite his repeated escapes and initial poor behavior, the boy is inevitably drawn to the world of dance, and begins to shape his legendary career from a young age, becoming the first black dancer to be cast in some of the most prestigious ballet roles, originally written for white dancers, in companies such as the Houston Ballet or the Royal Ballet in London.Written by
Fascinating insight into a world class dancer's life
You don't have to love ballet or dance to appreciate this fine film. It weaves dance , stunningly performed by Acosta and his co-dancers in short, riveting bursts, in with the story of his childhood growing up in Cuba and into his adjustment to being in other countries as a young adult, leading eventually to world recognition.
Acosta was pushed into dancing by his father, who was extremely tough on him and determined he should stick with a strict practice regime, but now he is grateful for that, as it led to his great passion for dance and the opportunities he later had to perform with the Cuban National Ballet as Principal Dancer and for a long period with Royal Ballet London as Principal Guest Dancer. He now has his own contemporary dance company, Acosta Danza which tours and performs internationally.
Iciar Bollain has taken risks with this unique biopic, with its blend of narrative and dance, but for me and most of the critics whose reviews I've read, it works. It just means you need to shift with the film as it moves between the different stages of his life and the actors or dancers who are portraying him at that point.
This bold directing combined with Paul Laverty's honest and heartfelt writing (he also wrote I Daniel Blake) makes for great teamwork and results in a truly compelling watch.
Just a great shame that UK distribution confined the film to a couple of special screenings (followed by excellent Q&As with Acosta, Laverty and Bollain) and a ridiculously restricted screening run at selected cinemas. Why? This film deserved much wider screening (compare it with Germany, where it was in some 95 locations!). What is happening with foreign title distribution in this country? Don't get me started....Anyway, I feel that Yuli is a film well worth seeking out - and it's not too late to lobby your local cinema!
8 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this