Jonathan Glazer / no certificate / 10 mins / UK (2020)

Showing Times

When director Jonathan Glazer's (Sexy Beast, Under the Skin) latest feature was derailed by Covid, he turned his attention to the story of the 'dancing plague' that afflicted citizens of Strasbourg during July 1518.  Inexplicably people in the town were unable to stay still, leaping, jerking and spinning all the while, until by the end of the month many had danced themselves to death. (This was also the inspiration for Hans Christian Anderson's story The Red Shoes, which then inspired the extraordinary film by Powell and Pressberger.)  “What caught my attention was the people of Strasbourg, 500 years ago, dancing in despair,” Glazer says, “and the connection between them and Pina Bausch saying, centuries later, ‘dance, dance or we are lost’.” This all came back to mind as Covid-19 swept the globe, and when Mica Levi agreed to provide the soundtrack, the project was 'go'.

So, here is another remarkable film, inspired by those events of long ago.  Says producer Michael Morris: “The appeal of the story is that it rhymes with our own times, our own lockdown, our own epidemic, our own confinement and fear of catching something." Enjoy!

Click here to watch Strasbourg 1518 in full, for free


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