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Alvin Ailey was a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance. AILEY traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength, and unparalleled beauty. Told through Ailey’s own words and featuring evocative archival footage and interviews with those who intimately knew him, director Jamila Wignotweaves together a resonant biography of an elusive visionary.

Atom User Reviews

5.0 out of 5


Jul 29, 2021

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.

Metacritic review by Lovia Gyarkye
Lovia Gyarkye
The Hollywood Reporter
Jun 20, 2021

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.

Metacritic review by Josiah Teal
Josiah Teal
Film Threat
Jun 20, 2021

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.

Metacritic review by Carlos Aguilar
Carlos Aguilar