Desert Dancer
Desert Dancer (2015)

Set in Iran, this powerful and unbelievable true story follows the brave ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian. During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms were threatened, Afshin and some friends… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: April 10, 2015
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2015
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Critic Score: 32% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail

There would seem to be only one thing that the act of dancing cannot free the characters in Desert Dancer from, and that's the movie they're in.

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Glenn Kenny

Its depiction of the internal tensions in Iranian politics and culture is not what you'd call super-nuanced, but it is sympathetic to Iran as an entity.

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James Mottram
Total Film

With robotic depictions of Iran's 'morality police', the political subtext is strictly one-dimensional. But with ace choreographer Akram Khan on board, the dancing is powerful.

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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star

Desert Dancer strays too frequently into melodrama to have much sticking power.

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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times

Reece Ritchie brings heart to the lead role, particularly in the decisive solo performance that caps the film. But that sequence is as expressive and alive as the rest of the supposedly movement-loving drama is static.

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Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

Raymond might sometimes hit his beats too hard but he does keep his eye on the bigger picture.

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Mary Houlihan
Chicago Sun-Times

In his feature film debut, director Richard Raymond keeps the story moving despite some dramatic cliches.

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Andy Webster
New York Times

"Desert Dancer" explores fascinating aspects of present-day Iran but suffers mightily from simplistic and sentimental tendencies.

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Joe Bendel
Epoch Times

Characters' brief moments of freedom are stirringly depicted in Richard Raymond's based-on-fact bio-picture, Desert Dancer.

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