It was a double bill this evening. First, N° 1 sprog wanted us to watch a documentary film, L’espace d’un instant (by Cédric Klapisch), about French ballerina Aurélie Dupont. The fly-on-the-wall style documentary evokes the sheer grinding slog that it takes to be an etoile in the Paris Opera Ballet and, of course, to remain there. We see Dupont work her way back to the top, admirably, from pregnancy. We see the backstage stresses and strains – including no less than eighteen rapid costume changes in one production. And we get wonderful insights into the creative process, as she works with some great choreographers. Not the least of these is Angelin Preljocaj and his extraordinary Parc. (The film is worth watching for the kiss sequence in Parc alone – it comes at 5.25 in the clip!) For me, one of the most evocative moments in the film is when the curtain comes down, literally, on a dancer’s career (her long-term partner, Manuel Legris). Anybody who has worked on stage (me only as an amateur thespian) knows that extraordinary moment when the stage once more becomes a room and the cast applaud themselves and are again divorced from the public and left with only the thrill of what they, collectively, have done. Next up was To Kill a Mockingbird. At Gregory Peck’s funeral, Brock Peters, who played the hounded Tom Robinson in the film and became a lifelong friend, memorably said about the role of Atticus Finch that it ‘gave him (Peck) a chance to play himself’. I can imagine why some would feel less than satisfied with this film and with Harper Lee’s wonderful novel. After all, its hero is white and the civilised white audience can almost give itself a pat on the back at the end of the film, even though poor Tom has been hounded to death (conveniently out of sight). But the travesty of Tom’s trial contrasts strongly with the noble images of Twelve Angry Men and the hideously primitive behaviour of the lynch mob is well evoked. To end on a lighter note: Atticus; ‘Do you know what a compromise is?’ Scout; ‘Bending the law?’