Opening 14 Oct 2021
By the time FLY is over, you will wish you could fly. Or, at very least, dance like the troupe/cast director Katja von Garnier had at her disposal. Screenwriter Daphne Ferraro fashioned von Garnier and Paula Romy’s idea into a storyline (a few too-many subplots, perhaps) that has urban dancing at its heart. What makes FLY a unique watching experience is the number of world-class Hip-Hop-Freestyle dancers performing, and the pulsating music they follow.
Bex (Svenja Jung), twenty and serving time, is put in a social rehabilitation program during its trial-run at the prison. Sara (Nicolette Krebitz), in charge, needs to make an impact on Mr. Hartmann (Aleksandar Jovanovic) whose unimpressed, albeit the final decision maker. Sara asks good friend Ava (Jasmin Tabatabai) to undertake being the group’s mentor/dance class trainer. Their shared past includes dancing; also, Sara thinks maybe Ava can relate to the group based on personal history. A tough group, they need re-socialization but balk at accepting any help, and cannot even get through one class without going at one another. Of the group, Jay (Ben Wichert’s film debut) somehow establishes a connection with Bex; her doctor (Katja Riemann) matter-of-factly points out her alternatives are in short supply. Eventually, each group member will have to decide: all or none. While Ava knows, she has to pull out all the stops to make this work.
In the re-socialization group is Hip-Hop-Freestyle’s crème de la crème dancers: Wichert and Majid Kessab are world champions; Yui Kawaguchi, Willy Hem, Luwam “Luulu" Russom, Christian “Robozee" Zacharas, Sebastian “Killasebi” Jaeger, and Jenny “Tweetie” Freitag-Praxmarer are internationally recognized, Berlin-based dancers; a few work professionally in choreography, coaching, or teaching. The Flying Steps perform as well. Renowned choreographers Phillip Chbeeb und Yaman Okur designed the routines shown. Cinematographers Torsten Breuer and Bernhard Jasper met challenges posed by the cast and freestyle dancing, and each mise en scène. Editor Laura Wachauf might have tightened the timeline by eliminating at least one subplot, plus less of the symbolic water scenes; additional music by Ketan Bhatti and Vivan Bhatti. FLY is worth seeing not only to experience urban dancing, but also for the good-humored mood you will leave with. 129 minutes (Marinell Haegelin)