The Diaries Of Vaslav Nijinsky

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Writer: Paul Cox
Starring: Derek Jacobs (Narrator)
Duration: 92 mins
Directed by: Paul Cox

The film tells the story of Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky (1890–1950). English actor Derek Jacobi reads selections from Nijinsky’s diaries. The readings are illustrated with still photographs, dance sequences, re-enactments and shots of the landscape.

Vaslav Nijinsky was probably the greatest dancer of all time - the God of the Dance - and his diary must have been one of the most extraordinary and moving books ever written.

It was written in 1918-19 in St Moritz, where Nijinsky had retired, suffering extreme mental agony, in an attempt to escape the shadow of Diaghilev - the man who made him as a dancer, and broke him as a coherent personality. It is amazing that, grappling with insanity, Nijinsky was able to communicate his feelings so lucidly. Like van Gogh's letters, his diary is a rare and precious document.

We follow the mind of a genius as he releases his delicate hold upon reality, and staggers along the outer verge of reason towards the end.

Van Gogh said there's nothing more artistic than to love people. Nijinsky said, "...my madness is my love for mankind..." Both were seekers of "that white light", both wanted nothing but the truth.