And Then We Danced

Director Levan Akin (who is Georgian but grew up in Sweden) was inspired to make this film after witnessing a violent clash between LGBT demonstrators and far-right protesters in Tbilisi, the capital, in 2013. Akin, who is gay, felt ashamed of his country and resolved to make a queer coming-of-age film that takes place there. And Then We Danced is situated in the world of Georgian dance. Merab comes from a lineage of (failed) traditional dancers, training for years with his partner Mary (Ana Javakishvili) in hopes of graduating to the main ensemble. The men in traditional Georgian dance are supposed to project a type of stiff masculinity in their movements, and the surly dance coach criticizes Merab for his softness. Tension in the troupe escalates when Irakli, hot and charming, joins the group just as a spot for a man in the main ensemble opens up, pitting Merab and Irakli against each other. It's a tenderly told story that doesn't skimp on explicit sex scenes, centering physical desire as much as emotional connection.

by Jasmyne Keimig
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Levan Akin
Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili