German choreographer Pina Bausch died suddenly in 2009, days before she was to codirect this documentary with longtime friend Wim Wenders. The movie he went on to make with her Tanztheater Wuppertal is more than an elegy; his meticulous use of 3D endows the performances with a corporeality and intimacy hitherto unseen in a dance film. Crane and steadycam allow Wenders to get so close to the action that in the minimalist Cafe Muller
, one's illusion of being on stage is uncanny. Bausch's expressive humanism, the multinational makeup of her troupe, and, in Kontakthof
, the added participation of amateurs who range from teens to seniors, uphold the value of dance as a universal language. In English and subtitled French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
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Wim Wenders pays tribute to Pina Bausch with a commanding 3D dance film