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Painter and the Thief poster

The Painter and the Thief

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Why it’s worth your time:

Could you befriend the person who stole your masterpiece?

That’s the question you’ll be asking as you watch this riveting Norwegian documentary about a young Czech artist who sets out to paint a portrait of the career criminal who stole two of her prized paintings. Determined to understand his motives, she forms an unlikely bond with the man – a relationship critics have alternately referred to as “crazy” and a form of “spiritual love.”

The mystery of the art theft underlies a more intimate story of two lonely people trying to peel away facades and understand one another…while also trying to forgive. It ends on an uplifting note, one that has some forgetting whether its documentary or a scripted narrative.

David Ehrlich at IndieWire sums it up best:  “[A] nuanced and beguiling new documentary about the various things we all take from each other.”   Read the full review

The takeaway:

An enthralling true story about forgiveness and redemption that plays with point of view – while ultimately leaving you on a hopeful note.

Watch it with:

Yourself.  Or anyone who may be unable or unwilling to see the other side, however dark it might be.

Worth noting:

The Painter and the Thief won a prize at Sundance for creative storytelling.  Director Benjamin Ree aims to train the viewer to look at paintings — and artists and muses and criminals — through different frames and perspectives.

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