Starring Pina Bausch, Regina Advento and Malou Airaudo


Written and directed by Wim Wenders


Running time 103 min


MPAA Rating Not Rated but probably a PG-13


Selig Film Rating Cable


Pina is not the Rupert Holmes story nor is going to have a sequel Colada.  Pina is the tribute to Pina Bausch, the German choreographer of the ‘Tanztheater’ style of dance.  Though she passed away in 2009, the film celebrates the life and vision, not the demise.


Some of the dance sequences take place on stage and others take place in the real world 

The dance is much more modern than classical. Some of the pieces run along the lines of comic, almost to the point of old style slapstick, but the performers are all well versed in movement.


The big set piece is Café Mueller which uses a table and chairs to convey emotional impact.  While a woman in white struggles with the obstacles, two other women are also on the stage and one of them is blind.  The male dancers both stop and help the woman in white.  Eventually, one dancer and the blind woman connect but it not a satisfying connection.   


In one scene, the stage is covered in soil and the dancers become a dirty mess as they move.  There also are some syncopated movements that pit young and old dancers with different degrees of talent.  A stage piece where a giant rock is the centerpiece and the dancers use water for movement is another hallmark bit of dance.


We also are treated to interviews with cast-members and others who knew Pina Bausch.  The vocals and the images were done at different times so we see who is talking, but not their lips moving.  While the image is just of the person looking at the camera, we can hear them discuss in loving tones about the deceased dance teacher.  These performers both admire and respect Pina Bausch and the work she produced.


The film is directed by Wim Wenders, the driving force behind Wings of Desire and The Buena Vista Social Club both films that used music to carry the film along.  We see the ‘how’ of the work of Pina Bausch, just not the why.  It presents the works and not the creative process behind the works.  Consider this more of an introduction to the work of Pina Bausch and not an examination of the creative process. 


The biggest question about Pina is ‘Why is it in 3D?’   There seems to be no good reason the technology is used in the film.  It does not drive the story forward.  While the images look great using the technology, it probably would look just as good without the added dimension.   


Pina is nominated for the Oscar and has a very strong chance of winning.  It is just the kind of film the Academy likes.  But, it is not really a general audience film.  It has a niche appeal and will do well with the art house crowd. 

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