Most Free documentary review

★★★★

Directed by: Ellen Hathaway

Starring: Benedicta Valentina, Ryan Woods, Ellen Hathaway, Chafika Gutknecht

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Poster for Most Free showing performers.
Poster for Most Free

A documentary about dancing and the joys that come along with it.


Filmmaker Hathaway creates a film that explores why people choose to take up dancing and interviews primarily individuals who have immigrated to Britain from other countries and they talk about their lives, their past and the personal benefits they gain by choosing to dance.


The film begins with a montage, during which Hathaway talks about herself and provides explanations regarding why she decided to make this documentary. The montage also briefly shows the interviewees. After the montage, the film moves on to the interviews, showing one person being interviewed, then moving on to the other. Each interviewee is introduced with a title card. The screen cuts to black and the individual's name and location is revealed. The person is then on screen. They are being interviewed in their homes and they are also filmed as they perform dance movements, either indoors or outdoors, including the countryside. All of them come across as intelligent and likeable individuals and they come from various parts of the world, including Algiers, Angola, France and Lebanon.


Each person talks about their life, their past, how life is back in their country and what makes them want to dance. For some, dance is an expressive form of art, a way of self-expression and they find it aesthetically pleasing. For others, it is also part of their culture. Each of them has come from a different past and are living their own lives. However, they all enjoy dancing, and in a way, that brings them together and makes them equal.


Dancing and music often go hand in hand and there is plenty of great music here to help make this viewing an interesting and pleasant experience. The score changes throughout and at times it is enlightening and uplifting and at others provides upbeat, modern music.


Hathaway does a great job, creating terrific aerial shots. There is black-and-white news footage of the Algerian War of Independence and sequences filmed through a webcam, as one of the interviewees speaks through her computer. Voice-over is also utilized by Hathaway and the interviewees.


Watching Most Free is a joyful and thoughtful experience. It introduces the viewer to several wonderful individuals and provides an insight into the beauty of dancing by giving them the opportunity to explain how it improves their lives and by showing them dancing.

#JasonKnight


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