“Ecstatic Dance”: I review “The Fits,” A Stunning Film

“Ecstatic Dance”: I review “The Fits,” A Stunning Film July 15, 2016

review at First Things:

Anna Rose Holmer’s extraordinary new film The Fits begins with a young girl whose body obeys her will implicitly. “One,” eleven-year-old Toni (Royal Hightower) counts, as she pulls herself into a sit-up in the very center of the frame. “Two.”

She works her body, grunting and gasping and twisting just a little with the effort, all the way past twenty. Then it’s time to box. She spars with her older brother (Da’Sean Minor): She is a child, a disciple. She helps him clean the gym. She does as she’s told, controlled and capable. This is the supple will of the athlete, taking orders from her coach and giving orders to her body. But no eleven-year-old girl will be able to control her body for long.

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