Neneh Superstar

Neneh Superstar

France (2022, dir. Ramzi Ben Sliman) – 98 mins

Put on your ballet shoes for this triumphant, feel-good tale of a 12-year-old Parisian dancer who overcomes the odds of institutional prejudice.

France’s historic Paris Opera Ballet School is the place to train for any aspiring dancer, and the supremely gifted and socially disadvantaged Neneh dreams of one day attending it. When she finally gets there, however, she quickly discovers that her talent might not be enough in a school where Black students are subject to a different set of rules than everyone else – and where the mysterious, legendary headmistress is committed to upholding the institution of classical “white ballet”.

This uplifting drama from the director of the Crystal Bear–nominated Ma révolucion features an irrepressible lead performance from breakout talent Oumy Bruni Garrel – the daughter of cinema stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Louis Garrel – alongside French superstar Maïwenn (Polisse, MIFF 2011) as the dance school’s intractable directress. A story of moxie and mettle, Neneh Superstar is a reminder to follow your dreams, face off against oppression and find your voice, no matter how many traditions you need to step on along the way.

“Both heartfelt and bitterly honest about the truth behind so many lauded institutions … Garrel is incrediby kinetic.” – In Review

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Language: French
Genre: Drama, Dance
Classroom discussion points: Coming of age, fulfilling your dreams, facing adversity, racism, nature of competition
Age suitability advice: Infrequent mild coarse language, mild violence
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 8+