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What to know: A shining example of independence at an early age.
FEET OF FIRE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 8-18
19 minutes
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What a shining example of independence and assertion at an early age! The young dancer, Amelia, proves that what's in your heart is what matters most. It is refreshing to see a child take a stand against an overbearing parent.

We see the control-freak mom lose her balance when she tries on some old ballet slippers. She gets teary eyed when she realizes she can no longer perform and rigidly expects her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Then, the mother turns to booze and screaming when she finds evidence that her daughter is finding her own way. I wanted to cheer when Amelia shows signs of independence and daring, borrowing the red dance shoes, brushing her own hair and putting on her own makeup. The French-speaking dance instructor seems very realistic.

This is well produced with good video and audio. It is well cast. The young protagonist dances well and is suited for this role. The mother is also quite believable. At times the lighting could use some work as the images are very flat at times.

My favorite part of this film is when the heel of one red shoe breaks off, at the start of Amelia's audition. It makes you wonder if her mom is trying to sabotage her daughter's future. Jealousy and anger rear their ugly heads, inside the mom's private world. At the same time, the girl's performance truly breaks out of the boundaries she has been held back by.

The message is how restricting it can be to live someone else's dreams. It is better to be brave and reach for one's own stars. There is also a darker message that resorting to drinking does not solve one's problems.

I highly recommend this for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. You can tell that the creator is a dancer because of the insight she provides. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8-18. Reviewed by Jeff M. and Julie S. KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors.

When a fiery pair of red dance shoes unleash a burning passion for contemporary dance, an obedient ballerina stands up to her cold controlling mother in order to become her new true self.
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