Mittwoch, 2. Juli 2014

Filmfest München: Dessau Dancers

A movie like "Dessau Dancers" doesn't really belong at a film festival. It means well, features entertaining dance numbers and has lots of innocuous, populist appeal, but artistic aspirations? Next to non-existent.

Admittedly, the idea to bring the story of the first generation of break dancers in the former East Germany to the big screen is enticing. But this central conceit, and basically the only raison d'être for the film, is treated in an offhand, heavily caricatured fashion so that any possible political, historical bite that might come from the colliding world views is promptly taken out. Other than that, the plot is a pile-up of clichés from unappreciative family members, a brotherhood under test to that roundly implausible finale. Having a good-looking but acting-wise unimpressive cast doesn't help. Technical aspects are standard, with a colorful soundtrack and some cute costume work providing perky 80's groove. The set design doesn't fly with me though, with the majority of scenes looking like they're shot right inside one studio.

It would be a lie denying the electric, happy current that charges through one's mind and feet when old-school beats drop and teenagers start twisting joints in disobedience against a repressive regime. But for a movie supposedly about rebellion, German director Jan Martin Scharf's work here is not nearly wild enough.

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