One Million Steps
a dance documentary in the uprising of Istanbul
Synopsis: A tap dancer performs, while elsewhere people run from the tear gas of the police. Two worlds apart ̶ if it wasn’t for an unexpected opening in the floor, right in front of the dancer… She decides to jump, and lands in the middle of the social protests in Istanbul. The dancer witnesses the people’s fight for personal freedom and living space, and takes the opportunity to transform her dance into a statement of solidarity.
A tap dancer performs, while elsewhere people run from the tear gas of the police. Two worlds apart ̶ if it wasn’t for an unexpected opening in the floor, right in front of the dancer… She decides to jump, and lands in the middle of the social protests in Istanbul. The dancer witnesses the people’s fight for personal freedom and living space, and takes the opportunity to transform her dance into a statement of solidarity.
The World Premiere
13th of June we celebrated the long-awaited Premiere of “One Million Steps” at the Dokumentarist Festival in Istanbul, just one week after the elections where for the first time the ruling AKP party lost it’s absolute majority. Needless to say that the city was in movement again! It was a truly wonderful experience to show the film to the people who were involved in Gezi, and to see many of the people who starred in the film, and helped creating it.
One Million Steps will be travelling international film festivals in the coming years. We will list festivals here and on our facebook page. Official selections so far: 8th DOCUMENTARIST, Istanbul, 15th NEMAF, Seoul, 25th MOSTRAINVIDEO Milano, 24th St. LOUIS INT. FILM FESTIVAL, 3rd West Nordic Int. Film Festival, 9th Cairo Int.Women’s Film Festival
Tap Dancer Marije Nie and Filmmaker Eva Stotz about the film:
“Rhythm as a universal language, inspired us to meet with a city and its habitants through the rhythms of the steps we take in our lives. We chose Istanbul as our destination, a city of extreme contrasts that is over 2000 years old and subject to the expansion of a neo-liberal economy. What pressures does this generate? What becomes visible when we look at the daily steps and movements of the habitants?
With a small crew, we filmed for a week in April 2013. End of May 2013 country wide protests broke out and our initial questions suddenly became visible and audible everywhere. Not only did the movements of the people in the streets change – protesters and policemen pressing through the streets, people occupying a park to prevent it from demolition, banging pots and pans out of windows at 9pm – but people seemed to ask themselves different questions: how will this continue? How do I want to live and relate to my fellow citizens? What will be my next step?
Through the changing sounds and movements in the city, we felt a peaceful and creative resistance against a system that has alienated itself from the people and their needs. In the film we see through the eyes of the dancer how people reclaim their living space and fight for a piece of freedom. The dancer is a-political and playful at first, but then she discovers her affinity with the people in the protest and uses her dance as a powerful expression of solidarity.”