As I say in my video review above, Richard Raymond’s directorial debut Desert Dancer is an inspiring true story set in the extremely dangerous period around the 2009 Iran presidential election, when a group young people went underground and created a dance troupe in a country that bans this kind — basically all kinds — of creative expression. Even access to the Internet was denied, but they found a way to see videos of dance legends such as Gene Kelly, Rudolph Nureyev and Michael Jackson, leading them to emulate their styles.

The film’s main protagonist is Afshin Ghaffarian, and scripter Jon Croker has based the screenplay on his life story — and it is beautifully told. Reece Ritchie plays the title character and proves to be an accomplished dancer, as does co-star Freida Pinto, who proves that her work in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire was no fluke. She’s particularly impressive in her dance sequences, as is the whole cast that includes Tom Cullen, Nazanin Boniadi and Makram J. Khoury.

With Iran taking a lot of the headlines lately, this movie could not be more important or timely. Pippa Cross, Fabiola Beracasa, Izabella Miko and Luis Astorquia produced. Relativity Media is releasing the film on a platform basis beginning today.

Do you plan to see Desert Dancer? Let us know what you think.