1 August 2013 | Red-125
Was his father really Baryshnikov?
The Russian film Moy papa Baryshnikov (2011), written and directed by Dmitry Povolotsky, was shown in U.S. with the title "My Dad is Baryshnikov."
The film is set in 1986, at the famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy. The Academy's least promising student--Borya Fishkin--has reason to believe that he is the son of the famed Mikhail Baryshnikov. Borya achieves a certain degree of success because this belief gives him a new confidence in his skills, and a new prestige among the other students.
The film has been called a hilarious comedy, but I didn't find it very funny. Borya is lacking in talent, but that's not his fault. However, he's not really a likable character. For example, his goal is to impress the best, prettiest dancer at the school, which is understandable. However, he is cruel to a young woman who actually does care for him.
Vladimir Kapustin, who plays Borya, is a good actor, and he actually does have a faint resemblance to Baryshnikov. However, the film didn't impress me, except as a glimpse into the world of a ballet academy. (I don't have the expertise to know if the scenes of ballet instruction were realistic. However, they seemed genuine to me.)
This film was shown at the first-class Rochester Jewish Film Festival. (Fishkin is Jewish, although nothing much is made of this in the movie.) It will work on DVD.