A Beautiful Tragedy


This fascinating documentary follows a young girl who is determined to become a prima ballerina. The film takes a closer look at a group of young dancers in a boarding school in Russia – dancers so desperate to become ballerinas that they resort to eating disorders


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A Beautiful Tragedy

A Beautiful Tragedy

A Beautiful Tragedy is a documentary about 15-year-old Oksanna who follows her mother’s dream – to see her daughter become a prima ballerina. Oksanna decides to sacrifice her youth and devote nine years of her childhood to a ballet school in Russia.

In this film we encounter both jealousy and beauty, and beauty, as it turns out, comes with a price: most of the girls in the school are anorectic. From the age of eight or nine until they are grown-ups they see their parents twice a year. For most children who attend the school, ballet represents their only chance in life for a future. Every year 500 children will come to audition. 30 students will be accepted. They have beautiful dreams and work unbelievably hard to achieve their goal. After nine years of training, 30 students will graduate. Only one or two will get a job.

Oksanna’s mood changes from hope to despair. She wants to give up, but pulls herself together every morning after nights of crying, desperate to fulfil her mother’s dream.

The ballet is an expression of beauty, but it also carries an implicit expression of the brutality and the demand for subordination in Russian society.

Director David Kinsella
Producer Dag Hoel
Produced by Faction Film
Duration 52 min.
Year of Production 2008
Original Title A Beautiful Tragedy