A young man of just 22, dressed in a black beret and a dark narrow suit, is on an airplane flying from St Petersburg to Paris. It is 1961 and Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko), not yet the imperious figure of legend, is a member of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet Company, traveling for the first time outside the Soviet Union.
Parisian life delights Nureyev and the young dancer is eager to consume all the culture, art and music the dazzling city has to offer. But the KGB officers who watch his every move become increasingly suspicious of his behavior and his friendship with the young Parisienne Clara Saint (Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Colour). 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.
From Nureyev’s poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet city of Ufa, to his blossoming as a student dancer in Leningrad, to his arrival at the epicentre of western culture in Paris in the early 1960s and a nail-biting stand-off at the Le Bourget airport, The White Crow is the true story of an incredible journey by a unique artist who transformed the world of ballet forever.
The White Crow was inspired by the book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh and directed by Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman).
“Lovely, elegant, and curiously opaque … The film’s many ballet scenes are stunning, to say the least.” (Peter Debruge, Variety)
“Oleg Ivenko, a Ukrainian dancer in his acting debut, is persuasive in The White Crow.” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal)
“An athletic, confident, undemanding film.” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)