And Then We Danced ★★★★

I came to this film because I saw gifs of Merab’s audition scene. Love a good twirly coat. All of the visual beauty aside (and there is plenty, what a gorgeous movie), watching Merab felt like looking in a mirror.

I grew up in the American south, in a conservative state, in a fairly conservative family, and even though I never went to church Christianity permeated everything. It wasn’t easy to exist there knowing I didn’t fit into the box waiting for me, no matter how many behaviors or expressions I crossed off the list. Still isn’t easy.

Years were spent hiding parts of myself because of what could happen if they were acknowledged, and then I fell in love with another girl unexpectedly. Like, not to be a cavity on main, but I was really happy just being in love in a way I hadn’t experienced, even if that particular relationship was never one that could be explored.

From where I sit still in the closet for my family, Akin did a wonderful job capturing that feeling, that type of love that opens you up to new possibilities. I love that Merab doesn’t give up his pursuit of love, whether for dance or Irakli, to sate tradition. This one has sad moments, some tense moments, but is so full of love and so aware of the present it eases the heartache for a richer experience. It feels like Home.