The Dance of Reality (2013)
"La danza de la realidad" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Biography, Drama, Fantasy  |  4 September 2013 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,503 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 19 user | 92 critic | 21 from

Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and ... See full summary »


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Santa Sangre (1989)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus performers: he saw his father cut off the ... See full summary »

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Axel Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell
El Topo (1970)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders
Fantasy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A petty crook, in search of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hopes to cash in by befriending the heir to a huge fortune.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Christopher Lee
Fando and Lis (1968)
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Fando and his partially paralyzed lover Lis search for the mythical city of Tar. Based on Jodorowsky's memories of a play by surrealist Fernando Arrabal.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Tamara Garina, Sergio Kleiner, Diana Mariscal
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Director: Frank Pavich
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
La cravate (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A short mime adaptation of a Thomas Mann story about a Parisian urchin who makes her living selling human heads.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Denise Brossot, Rolande Polya, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes.

Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, Viktor Gyllenberg
Dogtooth (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia
Mommy I (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household.

Director: Xavier Dolan
Stars: Anne Dorval, Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément
Biography | Drama | Fantasy

Through Alejandro Jodorowsky's autobiographical lens, Endless Poetry narrates the years of the Chilean artist's youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations, ... See full summary »

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Brontis Jodorowsky, Pamela Flores, Adan Jodorowsky
Tusk (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An English girl and an Indian elephant, born on the same day, share a common destiny.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Cyrielle Clair, Anton Diffring, Serge Merlin


Cast overview, first billed only:
Brontis Jodorowsky ...
Pamela Flores ...
Jeremias Herskovits ...
Alejandro as a child
Alejandro as an Adult
Bastián Bodenhöfer ...
Carlos Ibáñez
Andres Cox ...
Don Aquiles
Adan Jodorowsky ...
Axel Jodorowsky ...
Theosophist (as Cristobal Jodorowsky)
Alisarine Ducolomb ...
Sergio Vargas ...
Patricio Bambrilla ...
Juan Quezada ...
Pastor Evangélico
Adrián Salgado ...
Payaso Lechuga / Guatón González
Eugenio Morales ...
Payaso Zanahoria
Italo Tai ...
Payaso Piripipi / Dueño del Bar


Alejandro Jodorowsky was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and alienated childhood as part of an uprooted family. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky's philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a "dance" created by our own imaginations. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

4 September 2013 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Dance of Reality  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,100 (USA) (6 June 2014)


$189,500 (USA) (20 June 2014)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Early in the movie, Sara (Pamela Flores) refers to her son, Alejandro (Jeremias Herskovits) as her father. This relationship is mirrored by Brontis Jodorowsky, the actor who plays Jaime, Alejandro's father, who is actually Alejandro Jodorowsky's son. See more »


Alejandro as a child: The darkness is swallowing everything. It's going to devour us.
Sara: Alejandrito, do I love you?
Alejandro as a child: Yes, Mama.
Sara: How much?
Alejandro as a child: From the sky to the earth.
Sara: This is not my love, it comes from God. I am merely the sender. As God creates all, so we all radiate His love. My son, the darkness loves you as much as I do, for it is God's shadow.
See more »


Referenced in Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

THE DANCE OF REALITY (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2013) ***
26 July 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Anyone interested in cult movies must have heard of Chilean artist Alejandro Jodorowsky – even if, during his 57 year association with the cinema so far, he has only delivered two shorts and seven feature films. With my open-air viewing of his latest effort, I have now watched all of them…having just caught up with the quirky LA CRAVATE (1957), the irritating TEATRO SIN FIN (1965), the exotic adventure TUSK (1980) and even the engrossing feature-length documentary JODOROWSKY'S DUNE (2013). As things stand now, I can divide Jodorowosky's filmography into three symmetrical groups: admirable (EL TOPO {1970}, SANTA SANGRE {1989} and, happily, THE DANCE OF REALITY), enjoyable (LA CRAVATE, TUSK, THE RAINBOW THIEF {1990}) and loathsome (TEATRO SIN FIN, FANDO AND LIS {1968}, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN {1973})…

It is not an unknown occurrence in movies that a respected artist takes an inordinately long hiatus from the medium: David Lean, Sergio Leone and Stanley Kubrick are perhaps the most egregious examples…but Jodorowsky's 23 years is probably the lengthiest sabbatical yet! Although he had been threatening to make a sequel to EL TOPO for the last decade – his screenplay of THE SONS OF EL TOPO was even glimpsed sitting on the man's shelves in the aforementioned "Dune" documentary! – it is perhaps unsurprising that it took the now-85-year-old Jodorowsky's most personal project, an adaptation of his own autobiography, to lure him back to the cinema (even if that only came about as a result of a reteaming with his DUNE producer Michel Seydoux). Equally plausible is the fact that, for a man with such a long and varied career, one film would not be enough to tell his whole life-story and, as his young son Adan said in the Q&A which followed the film's screening, Alejandro is currently working on the second installment! I, for one, am looking forward to it…

In keeping with the autobiographical nature of the film, his oldest son Brontis (who played the child in EL TOPO) has the lead role here of Jodorowsky's strict businessman father, Cristobal plays a Buddhist mystic who runs around practically naked, Adan plays a long-haired, bespectacled anarchist and Alejandro himself appears as the ruminating guardian angel of his put-upon younger self! Although I would be the first one to admit that I much prefer the Luis Buñuel brand of Surrealism rather than the self-indulgent obscurantist style propagated by the likes of Federico Fellini, Fernando Arrabal (Jodorowsky's own partner in his "Panic" movement days) and David Lynch (the director who ultimately brought DUNE to the big-screen, albeit disastrously, in 1984!), I have to say that sitting through the not unsubstantial 130-minute duration of THE DANCE OF REALITY made me realize that even Jodorowsky's most outre' ideas in his previous films might well have had their seeds in his troubled childhood in the desert Chilean village of Tocopilla.

The film can be roughly divided into three segments: the first part concentrates on the boy's physical and mental abuse at the hands of his Ukranian-Jewish father (including vignettes involving red shoes and the fire brigade); the second on the father's ineffectual political activities (including an amusing failed assassination attempt at a best-dressed dog contest and a lengthy episode as the Chilean dictator's horse groomer); and, finally, the prodigal father's return homeward (after suffering from a bout of amnesia following much torture at the hands of the tyrannical regime). The father (incidentally, Brontis' appearance here turns him into a virtual dead ringer for Hollywood actor Peter Sarsgaard!) had been a circus performer and is portrayed as a staunch atheistic Communist, the mother only communicates in operatic arias and the young boy is seen sporting a blonde wig at the latter's insistence (in emulation of her own father's mane) and the former's chagrin. While berating his son for looking effeminate and mingling with the local mystics and mutilated soldiers-turned-paupers, Jodorowsky Sr. is shown consorting with whores, transvestites and political subversives in his weekly night-time trysts to the local tavern.

As can be gleaned from a cursory glance at the storyline and as was to be expected from this director, despite the reflective and occasionally even pastoral mood that permeates the proceedings, the film cannot fail but include a surfeit of full-frontal nudity which result in a couple of strong scenes: both father and mother get to shed their clothes but, instead of using it during scenes of sexual activity, the elder Jodorowsky shows his father being humiliated and tortured, himself as a young boy being comforted by his stark-naked, big-breasted mum and the latter miraculously healing her leprosy–stricken husband by urinating on him!! In such a godless environment (where religious relics are dumped into the toilet bowl), even horses can become objects of desire as the Chilean leader is depicted metaphorically having a virtual orgasm while astride his white-maned Bucephalus and, consequently, it is the latter who gets poisoned instead of its owner who is in turn devastated by the loss! The director's typically skewed sense of humour, then, is evident in the recurring presence of a midget barker, forever donning outlandish costumes, in an attempt to draw crowds to Jodorowsky's lingerie shop - but which are mostly unappreciated by his irascible employer!

While the occasional longueur does make itself felt (particularly during the second half), the film moves at a surprisingly breezy pace thanks to a compelling narrative and one is certainly thankful for it – especially considering the feature film started screening at around 10:00 p.m.! Jodorowsky's visual artistry is as sharp as ever and one barely realizes that the movie was shot on digital. Adan Jodorowsky's score is definitely an asset and, when asked about what inspired him to write it during the following Q&A session, he mentioned not just his father's self-penned music for EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN but also the works of legendary film composer Bernard Herrmann!

7 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
US Release Dates??? crownofsprats
any impressions or info to share maxadocious
Jodorowsky talks about this film naked daviru
Quite powerful crookdways
Chicago??!!? Please Read, please help. twistedfate144288
Golden Shower scene luciok-601-210740
Discuss The Dance of Reality (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: