We only have to dance (2019), by Levan Akin – Criticism

We only have to dance It is a charming film that opens a window to a very traditional and totally intolerant society.

The Swedish-born director Levan Akin is not well known in our country. However, surely they have heard (that if they have not seen it) the television series Real humans (2012) and the feature film The circle (2015), both signed by him. I omit other works since they have not been released in Spain. Today we will talk about his latest creation: We only have to dance (2019). He deserves to review, for his great work, his main actors although we must tell them that they will not sound like anything at all, since it is his first work before the cameras. They are debutants Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli and Tamar Bukhnikashvili.

The script, written by Levan Akin himself, works well, is agile, great dialogues although, it is true, it has a moment of inaccuracy that makes it decline. However, immediately, he recovers the rhythm to continue telling us the story. We only have to dance, it is a well filmed tape, where the problems become more acute and intense, although we find that they are handled in an excessively traditional way (although it has its logic) and forces the script to take the tension to the extreme with a series of situations and coincidences , which undoubtedly enhances the story.

Akin's film tells us the story of Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani), a young man who studies in a traditional dance school and aspires to enter the national dance company. He and the lovely Mary (Ana Javakishvili) have been a couple to dance professional duets for many years, and we can see that, in real life, they could be analogous. Without any doubt, Mary is much more interested than him. At night, Merab works in a restaurant to support his family and, most of the time, he takes the leftovers home so that his family (mother, brother and grandmother) eat decently.

He deserves to review, for his great work, his main actors although we must tell them that they will not sound like anything at all, since it is his first work before the cameras.

I will stop to tell you that Georgian dance is not the ballet we know, much less. Not only does it require being in an excellent physical form (although on the tape everyone smokes and drinks), but it is a virile, determined, firm and very masculine dance.

It is then that Irakli (Bachi Valishvili), a young and horny dancer from another city, who joins the school with the same aspirations appears: enter the national dance company, and totally contradictory emotions come into play, mixed with the admiration, enthusiasm, rivalry, bewilderment, strangeness and incipient homosexual desire within Georgina society, a militant at the extreme of heterosexuality. When an audition is scheduled for a dancer to go up to the national ballet, the feeling of longing and frustration with reality intensifies.

We only have to dance It is a charming film that opens a window to a very traditional and totally intolerant society. It is not a mass film, or popcorn or sweets, even to hang out; It is a tape to enjoy a well told and suggestive story brought to the screen in a formidable way.

In the European Film Awards (2019), his actor Levan Gelbakhiani, was nominated for the best actor achieving the coveted prize at the Valladolid-Seminci Festival (2019). As he passed through the Seville Festival, the public awarded him the Best Film Award.


Synopsis Merab has been rehearsing since she was very young in the National Dance Company of Georgia with her dance partner, Mary. Suddenly, his life turns upside down when the carefree and charismatic Irakli appears and becomes his most powerful rival, but also his greatest object of desire. In a conservative atmosphere, Merab faces the need to break free and risk everything in the effort.
country Sweden
Address Levan Akin
Script Levan Akin
Music Zviad Mgebry, Ben Wheeler
Photography Lisabi Fridell
Distribution Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Tamar Bukhnikashvili, Marika Gogichaishvili, Kakha Gogidze, Levan Gabrava, Ana Makharadze, Nino Gabisonia, Mate Khidasheli, Aleko Begalishvili, Nia Gvatvilie, Nia Gvatvilla, Nia Gvatvilie, Nia Gvatvilla, Nia Gvatvilla, Nia Hesvanevili
Gender Drama
Duration 106 min.
Original title Da cven vicekvet
Premiere 02/07/2020

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