Starting FRI—May 22—Ongoing
Scandinavia House will debut the virtual release of the new film The Painter and the Thief from NEON. Half of proceeds will go to support ASF and Scandinavia House; click here or above to purchase a virtual ticket.
When two paintings by Czech naturalist Barbora Kysilkova are stolen from an Oslo art gallery, Norwegian authorities quickly identify and arrest the two culprits, but find no trace of the paintings. Hoping to learn what happened to her work, Barbora approaches one of the thieves, Karl-Bertil Nordland, at his criminal hearing. She then asks if she can paint his portrait; and contrite, he agrees.
What follows—over a series of portraits and many years—is an extraordinary story of human connection and friendship. Using a structure that cleverly shifts perspectives, Norwegian filmmaker Benjamin Ree unfolds the fraught lives and vulnerabilities of two souls who come to recognize themselves in the other—the darkness, wounds, compulsions, and self-destructive behavior. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize for Creative Storytelling, and hailed as “the year’s most moving documentary” by The Guardian, it explores the profound intimacy of a unique and powerful relationship. Directed by Benjamin Ree (Norway, 2020).
“A remarkable real-life tale of crime, art, and forgiveness”—The Boston Globe
About the Director
Benjamin Ree is a Norwegian documentary filmmaker who began his career working for BBC and Reuters. Today he makes award-winning short and feature documentary films. Ree’s first feature, Magnus (about the world’s best chess player), was sold to 64 countries and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Ree works for the production company and broadcaster VGTV, which co-produced both Magnus and his second feature, The Painter and the Thief.