Desert Dancer follows the true, inspiring story of a brave Iranian dancer, Afshin Ghaffarian. Set in Tehran during the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election and the start of the “Green Movement,” Afshin and a group of dancers (including “Elaheh” played by Freida Pinto) risk their lives and form an underground dance company. With what little access to the Internet they had, the group discovers music and dance videos that were banned from viewing in their country. The group learns various forms, techniques and styles of dance from timeless legends like Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev. Inspired by these newfound heroes, they stage their own performances and uncover a passion for dance and one another. While the political and cultural backdrop of Desert Dancer is very unique to the time and place, the struggle to overcome oppression— whether from a government or from within— proves universal.


Jon Croker