The White Crow

Event Type
Other Event
Event Description

"An involving biographical drama that rarely puts a foot wrong."—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"A richly textured drama that very nearly reincarnates the legendary artist and the Cold War era from which he sprang… It's astonishing that this is Ivenko's first movie role, because he projects Nureyev's drive, seductiveness, intellectual curiosity, imperiousness, vulnerability, and mercurial temper with a naturalism that seems effortless."—Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

An increasingly accomplished director (CORIOLANUS, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN) as well as a long-celebrated actor, Ralph Fiennes brings the same intelligence and passion for authenticity to this portrait of Rudolf Nureyev that he does to his performances. Less a standard biopic than a portrayal of the passion that drives an artist, THE WHITE CROW concentrates on the first 23 years of the legendary dancer's life. The screenplay by playwright David Hare (Plenty) shuttles between three different time periods: Nureyev's impoverished childhood in the Russian provinces, his early training in St. Petersburg under ballet master Alexander Pushkin (superbly played by Fiennes, speaking fluent Russian), and his 1961 trip with the Kirov Ballet to Paris, climaxing in his defection at the Le Bourget airport—a suspenseful tour de force worthy of a classic thriller. Striving for authenticity, Fiennes uses Russian-speaking actors to play the Russian roles, and accomplished dancers to play the dancers, including Jalil Tatar Ballet star Oleg Ivenko in an impressive film debut as the charismatic artist who defied convention both on and off the stage. In Russian, French, and English with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)


Running Time


Gene Siskel Film Center

164 North State Street
(312) 846-2800