For his third film as actor-director Ralph Fiennes has chosen to look at Russian ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev setting his film in 1961 on the eve of Nureyev’s defection to the West. ‘The White Crow’ introduces us to the on-tour Nureyev in Paris, desperate to shake-off his Soviet minders and live the city to the full. At the height of the Cold War; for them, he is both a prized asset and a huge liability, always determined to use his status to gain the upper hand.
Flitting between past and present, Nuryev’s life and importance as a cultural icon to the USSR is revealed. Fiennes depicts the ramifications of the defection – treason to some – a cry for freedom to others.