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Ilan Eshkeri on composing Nureyev's biopic with Ralph Fiennes / CutCommon

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In 1961, Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev became the first artist during the Cold War to defect to the West. In The White Crow, we learn his story. This new biopic, which was directed by Ralph Fiennes (who also acts in the film as Alexander Pushkin), tracks the legendary Nureyev's childhood in poverty to his role as a young soloist in the Kirov Ballet, and eventually his defection. Naturally, a story so intertwined with personal, artistic, and political history requires a powerful musical score. Fiennes enlisted Ilan Eshkeri for the task.

Eshkeri, who is well-known for his scores in Still Alice and The Young Victoria, created a bold and cinematic work of music. We talk with him about his score, the ethics of composing a person's true story, and what it was like to team up once again with Fiennes after their work on films Coriolanus and The Invisible Woman.

READ THE CutCommon INTERVIEW