Dancing in the Dark

Director: Leon Marr
Screenwriters: Joan Barfoot, Leon Marr

Institute History

  • 1987 Sundance Film Festival


Along with The Decline of the American Empire, Leon Marr’s first feature also participated in the Director’s Fortnight at the recent Cannes Festival. Based on a book by the novelist Joan Barfoot, Marr has managed not only to successful transfer an internal work to the screen, but also to insinuate himself into a woman’s mind with uncommon ease. And he elicits a beautifully refined and charged performance from Martha Henry, one of Canada’s finest stage actresses.

Dancing in the Dark is centered around the perfect marriage constructed by a middle-aged housewife. Her life is paced out in the routines of domestic rituals which rarely takes her outside her carefully constructed gilded cage. Living in the shadow of her husband’s career, she is blissfully happy to be the silent partner in his climb up the corporate ladder. Her world is ordered and safe, until one day she becomes aware of her husband’s betrayal, a revelation that shatters her tidy haven of domestic bliss and affects her sanity.

— Piers Handling

Screening Details

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