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First Position - Ballett ist ihr Leben (First Position)

First-time director Bess Kargman’s entertaining documentary follows six young dancers, aged eleven to seventeen, as they compete at the prestigious ballet competition, the Youth America Grand Prix. It seeks to show the true depth of passion, talent and drive that it takes for children to reach such a level of ability in ballet dancing. Issues such as stage mothers, eating habits, the effect of dance on academic pursuits, and racism are all touched upon as Kargman delves into each child’s individual life and their personal struggles. Every dancer comes from a unique cultural and financial situation and yet they all impress with their great determination, charisma and prowess.

First Position is exceedingly enjoyable because it allows the personality of each dancer to shine through. However, while Kargman touches on the many issues that face young dancers in such a competitive field, she fails to do more than scratch the surface and in doing so ends up glossing over what could have made the film truly poignant. It is a feel-good movie with beautiful dancing, but it lacks enough depth to be a truly successful documentary. (Rose Finlay)

Second Opinion

This documentary by first time filmmaker Bess Kargman follows the lives of seven young dancers as they prepare for and participate in the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition, where each year 5,000 participants aged 8 – 19 years compete for a total of $250,000 in elite scholarships, among them The Royal Ballet School London and John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet School!

The seven contestants from very diverse backgrounds and ages include: 11-year-old mititary brat Aaron Bell, Columbian Joan Sebastian Zamora who at age 16 moves to NYC alone to improve his chances, Michaela Deprince who witnessed the murder of her parents in Sierra Leone, Japanese/American siblings Jules and Miko Fogarty, lovely Israeli Gaya Bommer, and all-American girl Rebecca Houseknecht.

Presenting their inspiring lives through selective, interesting details seems to gracefully flow from director Kargman, a journalist by profession who seriously studied ballet herself, stopping at age 13.5. Quoting Ms. Kargman, “I’m fascinated by their stories and would love to come back and do a sequel in ten years: Second Position.” (Nancy Tilitz)

 

A Toy Story – Alles hört auf kein Kommando (Toy Story 4) (2019)

A Toy Story – Alles hört auf kein Kommando (Toy Story 4) (2019)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Apollo 11 (2019)

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Bernadette (Where'd You Go, Bernadette) (2019)

Bis dann, mein Sohn (So long my Son, Di Jiu tian chang) (2019)

Black Panther (2018)

Christopher Robin (2018)

Das Kapital Im 21. Jahrhundert (Capital in the Twenty-First Century) (2019)

Das Wunder von Marseille (Fahim) (2019)

Deutschstunde (The German Lesson) (2019)

Die Berufung - Ihr Kampf für Gerechtigkeit (On the Basis of Sex) (2018)

Die Schneiderin der Träume (Sir) (2018)

Die Unglaublichen 2 (Incredibles 2) (2018)

Die Winzlinge – Abenteuer in der Karibik (Minuscule 2 - Mandibles from Far Away, Minuscule 2 - Les mandibules du bout du monde) (2018)

Downton Abbey (2019)

Erde (Earth) (2018)

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Gans im Glück (Duck Duck Goose) (2018)

Green Book – Eine Besondere Freundschaft (Green Book) (2018)

Hereditary - Das Vermächtnis (Hereditary) (2018)

Ich war noch niemals in New York (2019)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

Isle of Dogs - Ataris Reise (Isle of Dogs) (2018)

Joker (2019)

Klasse Deutsch (German Class) (2019)

Leave No Trace (2018)

M.C. Escher – Reise In Die Unendlichkeit (Escher: Journey Into Infinity, Escher: Het Oneindige Zoeken) (2018)

Mackie Messer - Brechts Dreigroschenfilm (Mack the Knife - Brecht's Threepenny Film) (2018)

Maze Runner: Die Auswerwählten in der Todeszone (Maze Runner: The Death Cure) (2018)

Midnight Sun (2018)

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

Nur eine Frau (A Regular Woman) (2019)

Official Secrets (2019)

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (2019)

Operation: 12 Strong (12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) (2018)

Playing God (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

Rocketman (2019)

Shut Up and Play the Piano (2018)

Sibel (2018)

Supa Modo (2018)

Tea with the Dames – Ein unvergesslicher Nachmittag (Tea with the Dames) (2018)

The Dead Don't Die (2019)

The Favourite - Intrigen und Irrsinn (The Favourite) (2018)

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

The Mule (2018)

TKKG (2019)

Unsere große kleine Farm (The Biggest Little Farm) (2018)

VanGogh – An der Schwelle zur Ewigkeit (At Eternity's Gate) (2018)

Venom (2018)

Vice - Der Zweite Mann (Vice) (2018)

Vorhang auf für Cyrano (Edmond) (2018)

White Boy Rick (2018)

Wir (Us) (2019)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Dark Phoenix) (2019)

Yesterday (2019)

Yuli (2018)

Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace (Amazing Grace) (2019)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Ballon (2018)

Beale Street (If Beale Street Could Talk  ) (2018)

Black Panther (2018)

Das Etruskische Lächeln (The Etruscan Smile) (2018)

Ein Gauner & Gentleman (The Old Man & the Gun) (2018)

Inna de Yard – The Soul of Jamaica (2019)

Intrigo - Tod eines Autors (Intrigo: Death of an Author) (2018)

Juliet, Naked (2018)

Late Night (2019)

Leid und Herrlichkeit (Pain and Glory, Dolor y Gloria) (2019)

Maleficent: Mächte der Finsternis (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) (2019)

Mary Poppins' Rückkehr (Mary Poppins Returns) (2018)

Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019)

Portrait einer jungen Frau in Flammen (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2019)

RBG – Ein Leben Für Die Gerechtigkeit (RBG) (2018)

Roads (2019)

Sicario 2: Soldado (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) (2018)

Styx (2018)

The Commuter (2018)

The Dead Don't Die (2019)

The Favourite - Intrigen und Irrsinn (The Favourite) (2018)

The Guilty (Den skyldige) (2018)

The Hate U Give (2018)

The Sisters Brothers (2018)

Trautmann (The Keeper) (2018)

Unsere große kleine Farm (The Biggest Little Farm) (2018)

Widows - Tödliche Witwen (Widows) (2018)

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