Friday, April 24, 2015

Movie with Abe: Because I Was a Painter (Capsule Review)

Because I Was a Painter
Directed by Christophe Cognet
Released April 24, 2015

It is a complicated thing to find beauty in something truly awful. That is a major theme in this French documentary which looks at works of art created secretly during the Holocaust in concentration camps. Painters are interviewed in a multitude of languages – a sign of the diverse directions in which survivors have gone in the decades since the Holocaust – about the origins and motivations of their work, how they turned horrifying sights of dead bodies and true agony into something for the world to see, though they could not know at that time that they would survive and that others would in fact be able to view their work. This is a film that pairs silence with images to magnify the intensity of what viewers are looking at, an effective tool to drive home the horrific nature of what was seen and how it has been transformed into something permanent and artistic.


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