I loved this film. My boyfriend didn't quite understand when I told him I was close to tears several times through it.
Quaint indeed. Precious little press went to the sacking of the National Museum of Iraw in Baghdad just after our invasion. Many many priceless artifacts were stolen, or destroyed to be sold as scrap.
Hitler was an artist, not a good one, but it's an additional explanation for why he was so concerned with seizing important works.
I also like the story of Chiang Kai Shek fleeing mainland China with huge quantities of Chinese art in tow -- just barely managing to keep it out of Maoist hands.
John Frankenheimer's 'The Train' with Burt Lancaster is a more action-packed version of this story, which you may also dig
Saw this film sometime last year at Northwest film forum when the directors brought it for a screening. Pretty damned good film.
Art still matters to invaders-- apparently now, as something to destroy.
I don't know if this is in the film or not, but it's also worth noting that at the end of the war the U.S. military trained & sent several people into former Nazi territory for the express purpose of recovering art. Hard to imagine them doing that now when they won't even provide soldiers with sufficient armor.
Jen, I love you. Your posts are always, always interesting and wonderful.
Here is an article about it in Smithsonian Magazine.
I read Nicholas's book years ago when it came out -- wonderful to know about the film! Thanks for the heads up.
@8 - Yikes!
A few years ago I was in Weimar, which was listed as a European Cultural Capital for that particular year. There was an exhibit of Third Reich art and Communist art that was very interesting to say the least. The Third Reich artwork was art that Hitler and other top-ranking Nazis had either commissioned or had given to them as gifts. They were prosaic, at best because Hitler had only certain themes that pleased him; primarily Germanic legends and art that portrayed him as a knight, shepherd, or contemplating nature. The only piece I found myself attracted to was a painting of a woman asleep on a beach with her sleeping cat curled up next to her. Now, the Communist art was interesting, too, but I won't go into that.
I'm half way through the book that this is based on, didn't know a documentary had been created, looking forward to seeing it as well!
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