The Best of the Rest


Alla Kovgan
Screening time  
08.10. / Thursday, 22:00 - 00:00 Ticket

Rather than being referred to as avant-garde, Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) preferred to be simply a dancer. The influential dancer and choreographer saw dance simply as a matter of “people moving around in various ways.” He also felt it should not be burdened by meaning, but that interpretation should be left to the viewer. This restraint contrasted sharply with Cunningham’s inexhaustible energy for exploration that accompanied him throughout his 70-year-long career. He merged elements of classical and modern dance, and because he thought any movement of the human body could be incorporated into dance, he believed that anyone could be a dancer. The documentary inventively intersperses Cunningham’s radical views and intense curiosity with words and images. The monologues and interviews with Cunningham and his collaborators are accompanied by an eclectic montage of archival footage and dance excerpts, made all the more surprising by 3D technology. There are also frequent appearances by composer John Cage, in whom Cunningham found not only a professional soulmate, but also the love of his life.


Alla Kovgan

Alla Kovgan is a Boston-based film director born in Moscow. Kovgan divides her time between Europe and the US, boasting two decades of experience working with dance and film on screen, virtual reality (VR) and in theatre, as well as a strong record as a documentary writer and editor. Her film Nora (2008), about Zimbabwe-born choreographer Nora Chipaumire, has been presented at over 120 festivals and received 30 awards. Within the last decade, she co-directed, co-wrote and edited the Emmy-nominated Traces of the Trade (2008) and Movement Revolution Africa (2007). Her first VR piece with Finnish music duo Puhti, Devil’s Lungs (2018), won numerous awards including the Grand Prix at the Vienna Shorts Festival. She is a recipient of many grants and awards.

General sponsor


France, Germany, USA
2019, 93'

Directed by:
Alla Kovgan

Screenplay by:
Alla Kovgan

Mko Malkhasyan

Edited by:
Alla Kovgan

Volker Bertelmann

Helge Albers, Ilann Girard, Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Derrick Tseng, Kelly Gilpatrick

Produced by:
Achtung Panda! Media GmbH, Arsam International, DocWorks, Chance Operatio

Festivals & Awards:

Hamptons International Film Festival 2019 – Golden Starfish Award – Honorable Mention; Toronto International Film Festival 2019; Chicago International Film Festival 2019; BFI London Film Festival 2019; São Paulo International Film Festival 2019; New York Film Festival 2019; Montreal International Documentary Festival – RIDM 2019; Calgary International Film Festival 2019; Vancouver International Film Festival 2019; Zurich Film Festival 2019; El Gouna Film Festival 2019; Hamburg Film Festival 2019; Film Festival Cologne 2019


Ground Floor, Overseas House
19-23 Ironmonger Row
London, EC1V 3QN, UK