PINA (director/writer: Wim Wenders; cinematographers: Hélène Louvart/Jörg Widmer; editor: Toni Froschhammer; music: Thom Hanreich; cast: Pina Bausch; Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Wim Wenders/ Gian-Piero Ringel/Wolfgang Bergmann/Gabriele Heuser/Dieter Schneider; Artificial Eye; 2011-Germany-in German, English, Russian, Italian, French, Slovenian, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese with English subtitles)

"It's an enchanting film, one that makes you feel you are missing something dear if you don't dance or appreciate it as an art form."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

Noted veteran German documentarian/film-maker Wim Wenders ("The End of Violence"/"Lisbon Story"/"Paris, Texas") helms this feature-length dance film in 3D (I saw the DVD, which was in a regular format). Wenders pays tribute to the renown German choreographer, Pina Bausch, who died in the summer of 2009 at the age of 68. The moving documentary has a stirring performance by the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal. The film mostly tells us about Pina through showing the company dance, introduce themselves and speak their piece on their beloved Pina in as few words as possible and, at times, the dancers are followed around the surrounding areas of Wuppertal--the city in northwest Germany that was home to Pina for her 35 year stint with the dance company.

All-in-all we get a good look at Pina's work, her surroundings, the high regard she was held to by the dancers and how the emotions of love and pain are so prominent in her work.

We observe four of Pina's signature dances, such as "Le Sacred du printemps," "Café Müller," "Vollmond," and "Kontakthof." Some of the shorter dances take place outdoors, in such places as a park and under a monorail. The innovative dancing is thrilling, Pina's outlook to dance is spiritually uplifting and the legendary dancer and choreographer's philosophy can be summed up in the words that end the film: "Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost."

One dancer says that the chain-smoking Pina's only advice to her in all her years in her company was "You just have to get crazier."

The warm and friendly love-fest film also has a few shots of invaluable archival footage of Pina.

It's an enchanting film, one that makes you feel you are missing something dear if you don't dance or appreciate it as an art form.

REVIEWED ON 12/30/2011       GRADE: A-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"