Saturday, April 8, 2017 - 16:00
VIFF Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour St.
$10 adult; $7 child, youth, senior; $5 each for groups of 10 or more
Valérie Muller, Angelin Preljocaj

In French and Russian with English subtitles.


Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bastien Vivès, Polina is a moving portrait of a classically-trained ballet dancer at the height of her prospects. When she is accepted to the prestigious Russian Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Polina is compelled to question her future and examine her modest upbringing. To help his only daughter ascend the echelons of her craft, Polina’s father reluctantly turns to petty crime, and the risk of his choice is ever present. Polina works vigorously to realize her father’s hopes, and though she loves ballet, she yearns to push beyond her technical ability and the rigid structures of the classical world to find her deepest artistic voice. The contemporary world of dance beckons.

Co-directed by wife and husband duo, Valérie Müller and world-renowned French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, Polina stars cinematic icon Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) as an accomplished choreographer who draws Polina out of her classical shell. Also featuring famed Canadian actor Niels Schneider (I Killed My Mother), and star of the Paris Opera Ballet, Jérémie Bélingard, both opposite the older Polina, played by newcomer Anastasia Shevtsova. Shevtsova has reached similar heights as the character she embodies, learning French for the role and giving 100% of herself to bring Polina to life. Dance enthusiasts and film-lovers alike will find something special in Polina.

Recommended for ages 14+

Themes: artistic discipline, creativity, dance, coming of age, sacrifice, love, economic disparity


Advisory: When Polina is of drinking age, a few scenes take place in a bar and there is some unruly and aggressive behaviour by the bar’s patrons.


Community Partner



Being and Nothingness
Alejandro Alvarez Cadilla | Canada | 8min

Drawing inspiration from Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophy, and using the mesmeric repetitions of Philip Glass (Metamorphosis four), this exquisite short examines the nature of human identity. With choreography by Guillaume Côté, and featuring Greta Hodgkinson, the principal dancer of The National Ballet of Canada.


Additional images for Polina...



Director's Bio: