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Never Look Away

(German) This film is described as being loosely based on the life of abstract artist Gerhard Richter. It tells the story of Kurt Barnert’s life over about 30 years, beginning when he was a little boy just as the Nazis were coming to power and his beloved Aunt Ellie was taken away, through the beginnings of adult life in communist East Germany as a painter of propaganda murals, his falling in love with and marriage to Ellie, and his later years once his art career began to take off. I loved the film. The cinematography is breathtaking, and the score is subtle and moving. The story of Kurt and Ellie unfolds slowly and beautifully; the story of how the lives of Kurt, Ellie, and Ellie’s parents interconnect is really well told and yields many surprises. The film is just over three hours, but it never felt boring or too long. As the title suggests, I could not look away, and I was mesmerized the entire time by the film’s beauty. Big thumbs up for a film that tells a compelling story of the power of art to transform and heal. I left the film inspired as well as emotionally drained This is the same person who directed the wonderful “Lives of Others” from 2006, and this is this year’s Oscar-nominated film from Germany

About Gary Burkholder

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