Three Step Dancing

Director: Salvatore Mereu
Screenwriters: Salvatore Mereu

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


In Three Step Dancing, his assured first feature, Salvatore Mereu portrays changing yet timeless rural Italian culture—frankly, instinctually. The ethereal meets the ethnographic in this rumination on the director's Sardinian homeland, breathing life into each luminescent frame.

Seasons pace the film, as well as define each character's arc, as the camera shifts its focus through each one. In the springtime, four young boys communally experience their own private awakening by the sea. While riding in the back of a sand truck, they pass Michele, a stoic shepherd on the road with his flock, a character held over from another time. In the summertime, he carries cheese to a beachside resort, run by his friend Massimo. When he arrives, dashing pilotess Solveig has just landed and draws Michele out of his solitude for an intimate swim. In fall, it's unclear if a Carmelite nun has cursed her cousin's wedding by singing at the party. Solveig reappears in winter to put to bed an old man's earthly desires; instead, she takes him on a heavenly journey.

Inspired, nuanced performances are the jewel of Mereu's reflection on human bonds, which ebb and flow like the Mediterranean tide. You won't want to miss a step of this languid, richly energized, and passionate dance.

— Larin Sullivan

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]