Le Mystere Babilee | 2000
To prevent the iniquities of time from banishing the great Jean Babilee to obscurity, this documentary offers a lasting testament to the genius of this French dancer and choreographer, considered one of modern ballet's greatest performers. Although Babilee never reached the status of a Baryshnikov or a Nureyev, he has enjoyed great success during his career, which spans the last half of the 20th century, and his name will be forever linked to two ballets in the modern repertory- "Le Jeune Homme et la Mort" by Roland Petit (directed by Jean Cocteau, it brought Babilee instant fame at the age of only 23) and "Life" by Maurice Bejart. The film includes rare footage of these and other performances, offering a glimpse of the extreme control, intensity and forcefulness that defined Babilee's style. But the bulk of the film, and its sustaining power, are the interviews with Babilee himself, still a charismatic presence at the age of 77. These interviews are rich performances in themselves.