Mari

Updated: Oct 1, 2019

Contemporary dance is interwoven in this carefully paced drama about a dancer returning to England to launch her career in choreography. At times, Charlotte, played by Bobbi Jene Smith, dances her feelings; dance literally consumes her. When she joins her dying grandmother in hospital, she is leaving behind the very essence of her being.




Director: Georgia Parris

Cast: Bobbi Jene Smith, Phoebe Nicholls, Madeleine Worrall






"At times, Charlotte, played by Bobbi Jene Smith, dances her feelings; dance literally consumes her."

"Her supporting cast are evidently the pros in this feature (her acting debut and Parris' directorial feature debut), but Smith is certainly worthy of her part."

Mari, her grandmother’s and Georgia Parris’ grandmother’s namesake[i], centres on the perennial question of family responsibilities and personal drive. Charlotte tries to reconcile herself with a begrudging sister and mother, whom she left in England to pursue her career and her relationship with her father. The small snipes and retorts from them are cleverly inserted into the drama. But, just as pressing is another life changing decision she must make.


Mari moves from dance studio to hospital ward to cottage living room. In each, Bobbi Jene Smith dances, expressing grief, restraint and a thirst for life. She is a veteran of dance and a novice actor. Her supporting cast are evidently the pros in this feature (her acting debut and Parris' directorial feature debut), but Smith is certainly worthy of her part.



[i] Georgia Parris’ film is a tribute to her own grandmother, whose death four years ago spurred her to make Mari. After the screening at the London Film Festival, October 21st 2018, she listed her directorial influences as Claire Denis and Joanna Hogg. Parris volunteered at the LFF ten years ago and on meeting a female film director, something of a surprise to her, she decided there and then to make films. The rest is herstory.


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