Fancy Dance 2024 / A thoughtful family drama that celebrates the Indigenous community, while still highlighting their missing loved ones


Before she captivated the film world with her performance in Scorcese’s crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon, Lily Gladstone starred in Erica Tremblay’s feature film debut Fancy Dance, earlier in 2023. It’s a tragic drama, wherein Gladstone portrays Jax, a lesbian woman dealing with the government that failed to find her sister, and that currently seeks to transfer her niece’s custody to her white father. But it’s also an uplifting drama, one that celebrates the connection between Jax and her niece Roki, the Cayuga culture and language, and the connection with their community and tribe that continues to persist despite state disenfranchisement. Pacing issues do make the film a tad rushed, but nevertheless, Fancy Dance is a subtle and poignant debut, made much more grounded with the excellent lead performances.

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