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Children's Filmfest Hamburg - Film Review: Ich will tanzen
by Birgit Schrumpf

Hu Shu, China (in the original Miao language with German voice-over)

Pian of the clan of the Miao, lives in her poor village, surrounded by breathtaking mountains, far away from any so-called civilization. The village elders select a group of girls to participate in a tribal dance competition in town, hoping to win the trophy for the clan. They reckon, in modern days only slim girls have a chance. For this reason the plump but lively Pian has been refused. She loves dancing more than anything else and starts a rigorous, imaginative slimming programme. She even stops going to school to work in the fields. Her schoolmaster wants his best pupil back into class, trying everything in his power to talk sense into the stubborn 12-year old girl. Pian is completely fixed on her dream.

Director Hu Shu studied journalism in Shanghai, followed by studies of film production in Canada, with emphasis on documentary film. Therefore, it is no surprise that his film almost comes across as a documentary, looking at Chinese rural life, with village people as his actors. For these reasons, and for camera shots of the beautiful landscape, I liked the film. The young German children in the audience (the film was recommended for children from 8 years) found the 78 minutes too long. The theme was too foreign to be of interest and offered too little action. The voice-over was also difficult to follow.