Break Up the Dance

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 9, 2015

Very sharply shot and assembled. The intro and the epilogue feature some especially fine moving camera shots. Beyond that though, it’s The Nihilists. You wonder. What does this little episode tell us, or teach us? Does the film advocate this kind of hooliganism, does its maker countenance it? It turns out that Polanski actually contrived the whole thing, bringing these hoodlums down upon this¬†unsuspecting crowd of actual young revelers, in order to film the results. That fact suggests an answer to those questions.

We’ll most of us acknowledge that the bourgeoisie needs to be knocked down a peg. That’s true on paper, and it’s often the case in fact. But even the bourgeois has his reasons. The biographical record shows that Polanski certainly was exposed to terrible brutalities, all the way through his first years.¬† This evidence from his early days as an artist hints that those experiences really, partly, did turn him into a brute.