Fly proves that German films should dance more and speak less

It is not uncommon for a wooden dialogue to destroy a magical cinematic moment. There are few things that tear us out of a film as much as the thought: Nobody speaks like that! A reproach that German films have to put up with again and again. But the new dance film Fly cleverly solves the problem – and simply lets its characters speak a different language

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In Fly the Dance to the universal language. At the beginning of the film, however, there is skepticism, especially with our protagonist Bex (Svenja Jung). The 20-year-old is in a Berlin detention center and would like to hide in the darkest corner of her cell. The dance opens her doors – in the truest sense of the word. She does not want to accept this opportunity for the time being. She struggles with herself.

Fly dares to be a dance film through and through

Bex caused an accident in which the driver of the other car ended up in hospital seriously injured. The consequences of the nocturnal encounter on the street will determine his life forever. So Bex is not only in prison, she is also suffers from intense guilt and therefore withdraws more and more into itself. A dance course should contribute to their rehabilitation.

You can watch the trailer for Fly here:

Fly – Trailer (Deutsch) HD


Like the other young people who come together in the dance lessons under the supervision of Ava (Jasmin Tabatabai), Bex does not take the opportunity seriously at first. She is afraid to reveal something about herself. This is exactly where Fly becomes exciting.

Just as Bex cannot address her problems, the other course participants do not come closer through words, but through dancing. Any gesture, however inconspicuous, can do one tell full story about the personthat she executes. Fly could be a dry drama that illuminates the difficult situation of its protagonist with meaningful looks and endless dialogues.

Instead, the film trusts the audience to understand the conflicts in the characters without having them explained verbatim. The film floods Bex’s cell and in one of the more visually exciting scenes
thereby visualizes the trauma his protagonist. Bex is startled, gasps for air, waves his arms – and before we know it, the ghosts of her past wake up in a danced form.

Dance takes place in Fly in every imaginable place in Berlin

The flooded cell is just the beginning. In Fly, dance arises in places where you don’t expect it. Gym, sure. Tempelhofer Feld, why not? Suddenly, however, the desolate halls of the Berlin city administration are also transformed into one lively place full of rhythm and the Museum Island becomes a stage to resolve the greatest conflict in the film through a dance-like approach.


The choreographies by Phillip Chbeeb and Yaman Okur form the core of the film. To bring them convincingly to the screen, Fly big names in the dance scene again, starting with the Berlin breakdance group Flying Steps to hip-hop freestyle world champion Ben Wichert. He not only makes his cinema debut in Fly, but is also responsible for the best dance moments with Svenja Jung.

The German step up cannot dance away all weaknesses

Fly dares to do many things that we seldom do in German films with a similar theme. At the same time, the dance film is not free from mistakes: it suffers from a weak script and superficial characters. Fly draws the right conclusions from this. Instead of shooting a RomCom or a drama and then pushing the dance elements into it later, the film focuses on the dance – and builds all the other elements around it.

That makes the film more skillful than its local genre colleague Into the Beat – Your Heart Dances, which was released in theaters last year. Fly could be a role model for the German film industry at this point: Instead of always having to say everything, just trust the physicality of your own actors: inside. Then fewer people complain about wooden dialogues. Promised.

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