Since premiering at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Levan Akin’s groundbreaking drama continues to garner attention as Sweden’s official Academy Award entry for Best International Feature Film. Though Akin is Swedish born, his roots are Georgian and so too is the DNA of his film, which acts as both a celebration of his country’s renowned dance culture and a sharp critique of its deep-seated homophobia.
A gifted dancer named Merab moves beautifully, but his mannerisms enrage his coach, who finds them too effeminate. Merab, however, quietly defies not only his coach but his community’s hyperconservative constraints. An aura of danger emerges when he meets a handsome new dancer named Irakli, whose gifted technique becomes a source of attraction and competition for Merab. As the two fall into a secretive affair, whispers of their newfound romance threaten their respective careers.
Far from fitting into the traditional coming-out narrative, And Then We Danced represents something especially joyful, romantic, and transgressive. It stands confidently as one of the most important films—gay or otherwise—of the year.
RUN TIME 113 min
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
COMPANY Totem Films