The Bolshoi is seen as Russia’s “secret weapon” by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, given its inextricable link to national identity and location a mere stone’s throw from the Kremlin. What would a vicious assault on its artistic director mean for Mother Russia as a whole? The film oscillates around the January 2013 acid attack on Sergei Filin, perpetrated by an aggrieved fellow dancer. What could possibly have prompted such barbarism? By way of talking head interviews and courtroom news footage, it seeks to scratch through the highly sequined public façade to the ugly truth within. No matter what happens the show must go on, but at what cost? In this environment one thing is immediately evident – a short fuse was ready to be lit even before the horrendous acid attack set off the bomb. Elected as new Director General with a mandate to bring law and order back to the viper’s nest of lies, deceit and corruption, Vladimir Urin rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Firm but fair, he is respected by his employees and is one of the more engaging interviewees given his sheer bullishness. Bolshoi Babylon dances around some of the harder issues at hand, remaining inquisitive rather than intrusive and asking more question than it answers. However, it’s refreshing that Read and Franchetti’s work is not simply an ode to the ballet in all its splendor. An equal amount of time is spent walking through isolated corridors and around shady corners into the unknown. Their film offers an intriguing glimpse behind the scenes of one of the world’s most highly acclaimed cultural institutions.