Szabolcs Hajdu’s White Palms

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Jun 20–25, 2007

MoMA

Moving fluidly and dramatically between past and present, Europe and North America, fiction and autobiography, White Palms describes, without sentiment, the emotional toll that harsh training takes on young gymnasts. Writer-director Szabolcs Hajdu cast his own brother as a fiery coach in Calgary, haunted by childhood memories of his own brutal training in Budapest, who is assigned to whip a talented but callow and resistant gymnast (played by Olympic gold medalist Kyle Shewfelt) into shape. With its wordless observations of the strenuous and balletic exercises of gymnasts and its examination of shame as an element of training, White Palms is realistic, unromantic, and a different kind of sports film.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.

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