Ralph Fiennes is making his directorial return after a six-year absence.

The filmmaker and actor directs and co-stars in the new British film from BBC Films. “The White Crow” stars Oleg Ivenko as famed ballet dancer and “Lord of the Dance” Rudolf Nureyev.

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Nureyev was a real-life Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer, widely regarded as the greatest male ballet dancers of his generation. He was born in a Trans-Siberian train near Irkutsk, Siberia, and died at the age of 54 in Levallois-Perret, France. Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union in 1961 despite the KGB’s efforts to stop him.

“The White Crow” is based on Julie Kavanaugh’s book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life.

The synopsis for the film reads, “A remarkable young dancer of 22, is a member of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet Company, travelling to Paris in 1961 for his first trip outside the Soviet Union. But KGB officers watch his every move, becoming increasingly suspicious of his behaviour and his friendship with the young Parisienne Clara Saint (Adele Exarchopoulos).”

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“When they finally confront Nureyev with a shocking demand, he is forced to make a heart-breaking decision,” the synopsis continues. “One that may change the course of his life forever and put his family and friends in terrible danger.”

Fiennes last sat in the director’s chair for 2013’s “The Invisible Woman”. His latest project first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Aug. 31.

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