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‘The White Crow’ Trailer: Ralph Fiennes Directs the Lord of the Dance’s Life Story

Fiennes also co-stars opposite Adèle Exarchopoulos in the Soviet drama, which premiered at Telluride.


StudioCanal UK has released the trailer for “The White Crow,” Ralph Fiennes’ first time behind the camera since he directed and starred in 2013’s “The Invisible Woman.” Based on Julie Kavanaugh’s book “Rudolf Nureyev: The Life,” it follows the life of the revered Russian ballet dancer who defected from the Soviet Union in 1961 despite KGB efforts to stop him. In the newly released trailer, tensions are high when politics and dance collide.

Here’s the synopsis: “Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko), a remarkable young dancer of 22, is a member of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet Company, traveling to Paris in 1961 for his first trip outside the Soviet Union. But KGB officers watch his every move, becoming increasingly suspicious of his behavior and his friendship with the young Parisienne Clara Saint (Adèle Exarchopoulos). When they finally confront Nureyev with a shocking demand, he is forced to make a heart-breaking decision, one that may change the course of his life forever and put his family and friends in terrible danger.”

Known as the Lord of the Dance, Nureyev’s reputation exceeds all other male ballet dancers of his generation; the height of his career coincided with the peak of the Cold War, and so Fiennes has opted to focus on how Nureyev’s performances intermingled with his politics.

Ivenko makes his film debut as Nureyev, with “Blue Is the Warmest Color” star Exarchopoulos, Chulpan Khamatova, and Fiennes himself rounding out the cast. “The White Crow” is the actor-turned-director’s third outing as a filmmaker, with 2011’s “Coriolanus” being the first. Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Hare (“The Hours,” “The Reader”) penned the screenplay for “The White Crow,” with story credit to Nureyev biographer Julie Kavanaugh. Sony Pictures Classics will release the Soviet drama sometime this year.

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