Visio Divina – Movie (Netflix) – Mao’s Last Dancer

September 2022 – This month’s Visio Divina offering from reviewer Peter Malone msc is MAO’S LAST DANCER.

Fine, entertaining film, exhilarating at times, based on the autobiography of Chinese dancer Li Cunxin, who grew up in a remote Chinese village, 1970s, steeped in Mao’s ideology and cult, taken away to an academy in a commune, with sometimes superhuman efforts achieving strength and balance for ballet. Chosen to go for three months to Houston, he is cautioned about American ways. At first he is bewildered by the freedoms, the open political talk, the styles of dance at clubs, but defects and becomes an international star. Ballet sequences throughout the film for fans and amazement at dance poise and agility. Choreography by Graeme Murphy. Filmed in China and Sydney. Li Cunxin and his wife, a former partner in ballet in Houston and world tours, have lived in Australia for many years with their children, in Melbourne, an accountant and stockbroker.- but then with the Queensland ballet, an AO.

See the trailer here.