The Desert of Forbidden Art is a sweeping look at decades of Soviet repression of the arts and Igor Savitsky's one man campaign to rescue 40,000 works of banned politically volatile artists. In complete defiance of the regime, he creates in a remote desert of Uzbekistan one of the most important collections of Russian art. Written by
Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev
In a remote region of a remote Soviet republic there once lived Igor Savitsky, a museum curator. If his profession had saints he would be among the most revered. In his half century career he filled his museum with art that was often (literally) on the verge of disappearing onto the dust heap of history. Not only did he acquire these works of art; he paid for them, with state allocated funds. A true "holy fool" for art, he relentlessly sought pieces for his museum up to the time of his death, with almost no government interference. Savitsky's story is enough, but the film also examines the lives and work of some of the artists who owed their artistic existence and legacy to this amazing man. It is a well structured and remarkably apolitical documentary, utilizing some of the great living narrators in contemporary English language film. The love for art has rarely been so well represented in a documentary, not to mention that the actual works of art are absolutely stunning.
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