'Bolshoi Babylon' Uses Foremost Ballet Company as a Microcosm of Russian Society

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Nick Read and Mark Franchetti's new documentary Bolshoi Babylon is a look at the complicated world of Russia's famed Bolshoi Theater, featuring the 2013 acid attack on its ballet director.

“Our ballet background is minus zero and I actually think that’s a huge advantage,” Read tells Realscreen. “It’s not a film about ballet. It’s not an arts film. It’s a film about an extraordinary institution and it’s a film about people. The fact that ballet is the setting is not really very important. If you went and made the film that we tried to make and were a big ballet expert, you’d get completely caught up in who’s the most important ballet dancer and why. We were just looking for interesting stories and characters.”

The film airs on HBO on December 14th.