The Damned and the sacred

A group of child dancers from Chechnya use their art as a means of survival and an act of defiance in the face of the terrible tragedy occurring in their homeland. Images of the ravaged city of Grozny show how difficult the circumstances are in which children nevertheless manage to perform. It is clear that these children don’t simply want to dance, they have to – to keep themselves sane. Coached and encouraged by one exceptional man, Ramzan Akhmadov, the children undertake a tough tour of Europe with triumphant performances at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Lyric Theatre.




Jos de Putter

Jos de Putter (1959), born in Terneuzen, The Netherlands, finished his studies in 1984 as a political and literary scientist. He worked as a film critic for SKRIEN and different newspapers. From 1988 till 1992 he was a member of the editorial staff of Skrien. De Putter publishes as a freelance journalist in the following newspapers NRC handelsblad, de Volkskrant, De Groene Amsterdammer, Hard Gras en De Gids. He makes programmes for Diogenes, VPRO from 1995 till 1998. In 1993 he makes his first documentary IT WAS A LOVELY DAY, followed by SOLO, the favela’s law in 1994, 1999 The making of a new empire, 2002 Brooklyn Stories, 2002 The Damned and the sacred, 2004 Alias Kurban Said.


Scenarist, Jos de Putter, Director of Photography, Vladas Naudzius; Sound recording, Tom d’Angremond; Sound mix, Michel Schöpping; Editor, Stefan Kamp, commissioning editor IKON, Wessel van der Hammen; Editor dance sequences, Clara van Gool; Research/camera Grozny, Masha Novikova / Aiza Akhmadova; Composer, Vincent van Warmerdam; Production, Laura Bronkers, Willemijn Cerutti.