A friendship forms between the most unlikely people in The Painter and the Thief, the latest documentary from director Benjamin Ree.
If finding a subject is half the battle for documentaries, then Ree sure found a doozy. It’s one thing to detail a heist; it’s another thing to detail its fallout. Painter Barbora Kysilkova was faced with a nightmare when two of her paintings were stolen during a show. The thief was eventually tracked down, but her artwork, which she obviously poured her heart and soul into, weren’t found. Instead of the expected rage or hurt feelings, Kysilkova somehow developed a friendship, or some complicated, meaningful relationship, with the man who took her work, a strange and unexpected occurrence that could only happen in real life.
With several documentaries under his belt, hopefully Ree will be able to wring everything possible out of this story. All indications are that he does, with strong reviews coming from its premiere at Sundance. American distributor Neon scooped it up, another great sign given their skyrocketing reputation.
With a May 22nd release date looming, it’s strange that Neon hasn’t specified how they plan to release this. Perhaps they’re waiting to see how their modified release of Spaceship Earth does earlier this month, just in case there’s any money to be made from that strategy (and the possible opening of regular theaters). It’s a tentative strategy for an intriguing documentary, but I’ll be happy to check it out however I can.
The Painter and the Thief is directed by Benjamin Ree. It is scheduled for release in the US on May 22nd, 2020. Further release dates are not currently known.
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