Yuli 2018

Directed by Icíar Bollaín World

Moving between fiction and reality, and harnessing the power of both drama and dance, Cuban ballet dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta shares his life story, from a barely interested kid to one of the greats.

Sep 07

Event Cinemas New Plymouth

Sep 13

Len Lye Centre

Sep 15

Len Lye Centre

Spain / UK / USA In English and Spanish with English subtitles
111 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M
offensive language

Director

Producers

Andrea Calderwood
,
Juan Gordon

Screenplay

Paul Laverty
,
Paul Laverty. Based on Carlos Acosta’s autobiography No way home

Photography

Álex Catalán

Editor

Nacho Ruiz Capillas

Choreography

María Rovira

Production designer

Laia Colet

Costume designer

Jessica Braun

Music

Alberto Iglesias

With

Carlos Acosta (Carlos Acosta)
,
Santiago Alfonso (Pedro Acosta)
,
Keyvin Martínez (young Carlos Acosta)
,
Edilson Manuel Olbera Nuñez (Carlos Acosta, child)
,
Laura de la Uz (Chery)
,
Mario Sergio Elías (Mario)
,
Yerlín Perez (María)
,
Andrea Doimeadíos (Berta)
,
César Domínguez (Opito)

Festivals

San Sebastián 2018

Elsewhere

This adventurous depiction of the life and success of ballet dancer Carlos Acosta glides between childhood re-enactments and scenes of Acosta directing fellow dancers in artistically interpreted moments from his life. Director Icíar Bollaín mixes crowd-pleasing biopic conventions with a range of clever filmmaking techniques, affording the real Acosta the stage to convey his own history, expressed indelibly through the language of movement.

“This energetic, emotionally reflective movie follows the rise of the Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta from scrappy juvenile tearaway to ballet superstar… Acosta even makes an appearance, playing himself now, in Cuba to put on a show about his life – a clever move by [screenwriter Paul] Laverty to include some electrifying performances…

In a reverse of the Billy Elliot story, it’s his dad Pedro (Santiago Alfonso), who drags Carlos kicking and screaming to Havana’s state ballet school to get him off the streets – and gives him the nickname Yuli, a legendary warrior. The teachers instantly recognise this cocky kid’s natural talent. But Carlos is not convinced – he’d rather be playing football than flouncing about in tights…

Ballet is his ticket out of poverty, but his loneliness at being separated from his family is agonising, even as he notches up accolades… What’s perhaps surprising given the insider involvement from Acosta is the film’s insight and emotional generosity... This isn’t one of those biopics that rearranges a life to hide the ugly awkward bits.” — Cath Clarke, The Guardian