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Wignot handles details of the legend’s tumultuous biography with great care, honoring his talents while acknowledging the toll they took on him. But perhaps the greatest gift of this tightly conceived and beautiful doc lies in its appreciation of the divinity of dance.
For me, the relevance outweighs my enjoyment of Ailey, but this relevance bears a massive weight. Alvin Ailey has a fantastic story, but this might be a narrative that lends itself more to a bio-pic than a detail-oriented documentary.
Caught between exalting the glory of his titanic accomplishments and their indelible mark on Black American culture, and figuring him out with only the available pieces of his intimate puzzle, Ailey does succeed at painting him as a complex figure.