Hitler versus Picasso and The Others presents a different impression of a very dark time in our history from those we have seen before. During a time when modern art was portrayed as “degenerate”, and “cosmopolitan and communist”, the Nazi regime’s special relationship with art is explored passionately, showing how even art’s greatest names, such as Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Chagall, were banned by Nazi law.
Narrated by Toni Servillo, the documentary feels more personal than expected. Using family stories really left a lasting impact on me, as they showed examples of the people who were directly affected by the art that was stolen from them, even if they were able to get some of it back. It brought an element of relevant and contemporary freshness to a mostly historical documentary.
The opportunity to learn about the Nazi’s rationale for stealing the art, and how they influenced the German people through art, was not one that I wanted to pass up. The film discusses the infamous idea of “degenerate art”—the label the Nazi’s gave to modern art; and how to them, this was in direct opposition to “classical art”, which represented the perfection that Hitler and the Nazi regime were inspired by. It sheds light on the Nazi art obsession and their fight to acquire some of the most famous works in Europe and the world. Some of the other artists who were discussed included Botticelli, Klee, Monet, and Gauguin.
The special screening of Hitler versus Picasso and The Others at Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge has been extended for another weekend due to its popularity, so go check it out and learn something new about our shared human history. After all, art is a pure, heartfelt representation of history through the eyes of the people who were really there.
Encore screenings of Hitler versus Picasso and The Others are on this weekend at Cinema Paradiso.