In 52 Percent, the audience follows a girl who strives hard to become a ballerina and works hard to get accepted to an infamous russian ballet academy where most applicants are rejected.
What I like about this documentary is that it uses juxtapositions to bring the audience into the shoes of the main character. To be honest, though the film was beautiful it was hard to watch. It portrayed clearly how many obsess over perfection in the ballet community. Though it is for practical reasons because the academy wants only the best of the best, it is not necessarily healthy to young children who have innocent dreams and aspirations, such as Alla. It is no doubt brutal to the child’s self esteem, who may see her worth solely based on her acceptance into the academy.
As for the cinematography and aesthetic, I felt that the film was amazing. One that is obvious is the use of juxtaposition. The line of old judges contrasting the line of young dancers. The childishness of Alla contrasts her mature determination. [ Sense of adult dream Vs. Childish distractions]
Another point to note would be the camera angles used. The close up shots that depicts the physical closeness of Alla to the people around her, from the medical check up scene to the intimate moments between her and her mother ironically are also filmed in moments of discomfort for Alla. Perhaps this is a reason as to why it was so upsetting to watch. Because though the audience are presented with the rawness of her discomfort and pain, we have no choice but to agree that it was necessary for her to pull through with it in order to achieve her dreams.