Musical Globe

Bolshoi Babylon

Nick Read, Mark Franchetti
Screening time  
26.02. / Friday, 21:00 - 23:00 Theatre 3  
This visually stunning documentary takes us inside the Bolshoi's world of great artistry and intense rivalry.

If you're looking to understand Russia, the Bolshoi Ballet is a good place to start. This visually stunning documentary takes us inside the Bolshoi's world of great artistry and intense rivalry during one of the most dramatic periods since its founding in 1776. On January 17, 2013, Sergei Filin, Ballet Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, was cornered outside his home and attacked with acid. He suffered third degree burns and lost sight in one eye. Over the following year, as the company struggles to regain its footing, the filmmakers gain remarkable access to what occurs behind the scenes and on stage. While Filin recuperates, theatre manager Vladimir Urin takes over; and former principle dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko goes on trial as the mastermind behind the attack. In candid interviews with key members and observers of the company, we see how the crime reveals deep fissures in the institution. Bolshoi dancers train their bodies from early childhood for careers that have an early expiration. Their dreams can be fulfilled or derailed by whoever runs the company. That leads, inevitably, to tensions between performers and managers.


Nick Read

Nick Read is an award-winning, BAFTA-nominated documentary filmmaker and cinematographer based in London. His recent films include Inside Israel's Jails (2005), The Iraq War by Numbers (2008), Slumdog Children of Mumbai (2011), The Condemned (2013), and Bolshoi Babylon (2015).


Mark Franchetti

Mark Franchetti is a producer and director, known for Terror in Moscow (2003), The Condemned (2013).

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Bolshoi Babylon

Great Britain
2015, 87'

Directed by:
Nick Read, Mark Franchetti

Nick Read

Edited by:
Jay Taylor, David Charap

Colin Smith, Simon Elms

Mark Franchetti

Produced by:
Red Velvet Films Ltd,Red Box Films

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA 2015
; Toronto International Film Festival 2015; Stockholm Film Festival 2015; Borderlines Film Festival 2015