Film #37 among my 52 Films by Women 2016
Best known for her hyper-realism and documentaries, Belgian director Chantal Akerman attaches herself to 40-year-old German choreographer Pina Bausch and her Wuppertal-based dance company, taking us on "a journey through her world, through her unwavering quest for love." Over the course of a five-week European tour, we get to see not only the expected rehearsals, performances and personal interviews with troupe members, but also private moments that cameras rarely glimpse.
Modern dance defies definition, of course. It is meant to be experienced, and Akerman does a good job of letting the dancers tell their story, not trying to narrate, explain or interpret. Instead, she shows us what's there and leaves the rest to be filled in by our own imaginations and emotions. I don't pretend to have understood a lot of the routines. I liked some better than others, and I suppose that will be true for all viewers.