- Director: Icíar Bollaín
- Writer: Paul Laverty; Carlos Acosta
- Producer: Andrea Calderwood; Juan Gordon
Quite unlike the usual bio-pic...thank the lord-of-the-dance...and, Paul Laverty's script!
The film is punctuated [beautifully] with dance [the male pas-de-deux is a sensation not to be missed], reflection and invention. Having the man himself in his own film was a blatant and questionable risk...and, even Señor Acosta said he didn't want to ruin his own film. Well, he didn't and it was a risk that paid out dividends by the score. Sharing his story, on such a personal level, took guts...the lengthy applause he received...well-deserved.
Those lucky enough to have seen Señor Acosta dance...those who have not, well you are just denying yourself of something truly special...and, after watching this film...inspirational. Talent is given...but, success has to be earned...well-earned.
Yuli is a credit to the collaboration between subject, writer and director. This is a film that has been choreographed with precision and finesse...infused with reluctance and politics...and, a tough love between father and son. If that love had not been so tough, the world may not have gotten the intense pleasure [and release] of experiencing Carlos Acosta dance.
A bio-pic quite like no other. Thank you.
Yuli is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father, Pedro, who considers him the son of Ogun, an African god and a fighter. As a child Yuli avoids discipline and education, learning from the streets of an impoverished and abandoned Havana. His father, however, has other ideas, and knowing that his son has a natural talent for dance, sends him to the National Ballet School of Cuba. Despite his repeated escapes and initial poor behaviour, the boy is inevitably drawn to the world of dance, and begins to shape his legendary career from a young age, becoming the first black dancer to be cast in some of the most prestigious ballet roles, originally written for white dancers, in companies such as the Houston Ballet or the Royal Ballet in London.