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(Alleine Tanzen)

Archive material from "Alleine Tanzen" (photo © Biene Pilavci)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2010

In Alleine Tanzen (“Dancing by Yourself”), director and writer Biene Pilavci poses the question, “can my four siblings and I succeed, after many years marked by hatred and extreme violence, in building relationships with other people if our parents were unable to and their parents likewise?” No easy viewing, but for that all the more gripping and powerful, least of which is that this is a true story, Alleine Tanzen is a journey of understanding. As Biene Pilavci says, “You cannot go anywhere without taking your past with you.” To which one should also add, as Pilavci does, Berthold Brecht’s observation that, “The incorrigible are punished by reality.” In short, Biene Pilavci takes her family and herself under the microscope, with the wedding celebrations of her youngest sister Esra forming the timeframe and providing the dramatic framework. The film ends with Pilavci and some of her siblings traveling to Turkey to break the silence with their father, who served prison time and was then deported from Germany for his crimes, including grievous bodily harm and rape. The dancing referred to in the film’s title is, naturally, not only that of the wedding celebration but also metaphoric, as in “dancing alone through life,” explains Pilavci, who also makes extensive use of family video archives and provides commentary in the form of an inner monologue. It would be wrong, however, to see Alleine Tanzen as an exercise in depression and despair; quite the contrary. As the film’s producer Max Milhahn says, “We get to meet a family that still sticks together despite everything that has been thrown at it. Hope is their constant companion and they are well aware that their experiences of the past have a direct influence on their actions in the present.” SK
Genre Society, Melodrama

Year of Production 2010
Director Biene Pilavci
Screenplay Biene Pilavci
Cinematography Armin Dierolf
Biene Pilavci
Can Erdogan
Producer Max Milhahn
Production Company Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)
Format 35 mm, color
 German, Turkish
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from Filmbüro Bremen

World Sales
Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin GmbH (DFFB)
Josephine Aleyt
German Film and Television Academy (DFFB)
Potsdamer Str. 2
10785 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-25 75 91 52
fax +49-30-25 75 91 62