Polina is the first feature by leading French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, written and directed in tandem with documentarian Valerie M uller. Fittingly, it is the story of a young Russian ballerina's discovery of contemporary dance. Starring Anastasia Shevtsova , a nineteen-year-old ballerina from Saint Petersburg who learned French to play the titular part of Polina, the film is a gripping insider's look at the worlds of ballet and contemporary dance: the sacrifices, competition, and physical pain, and the thrill of stepping on stage. But it is also, and most importantly, a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman forging an artist's path by learning to look at the world in her own way. This path takes Polina from a classical ballet academy deep in Russia to a contemporary dance company in Aix-en-Provence, and finally to an independent, more productive creative life in Antwerp, a hub of the European dance scene. Mixing professional actors such as Juliette Binoche and leading dancers such as Jeremie Belingard, a former danseur etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet, Preljocaj and Muller pull off the rare feat of telling a story that feels documentary in its detail and sweepingly romantic in its narrative arc.