The Paris Opera - SIFF Review (2017)

NR Running Time: 110 mins



  • The camera simply steps back and captures The Paris Opera, a throwback documentary of sorts that documents one of the most drama-filled years (behind and in front of the curtain) of the iconic company's long and storied legacy.  


  • While the movie will enthrall ballet and opera fans, to general audiences the movie feels long at 110 minutes and with no narration, elements of the movie are difficult to follow.


This Frederick Wiseman-style documentary takes us into the Paris Opera’s 2015-16 season, which saw the highest of highs and more than its share of lows, as the productions achieved massive acclaim and yet, behind the scenes, performers went on strike and the tragedy of the Bataclan terrorist attack loomed large over the season and its performers.

Director Jean-Stéphane Bron has crafted a “you-are-there” look at the incredible work, stress, and ultimate joy and satisfaction that defines one of the most iconic performance ensembles in the entire world.

Though there is no shortage of drama to be found here, the movie feels tedious at 110 minutes. Shot in a cinema vérité-style, The Paris Opera offers no narration, and feels a bit ambitious in trusting we can follow everything that is happening. What comes through strikingly clear is the dedication, passion, and emotion that these talented artists bring to their performances. Everything is left on the stage and given to the audience, and in Bron's film, he attempts to do the same, with largely significant success.


Documentary Featuring: Stéphane Lissner, Benjamin Millipied, Mikhail Tymoshenko, Sir Bryn Terfel.

Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron
SIFF Premiere Date: June 3, 2017
Film Movement