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Calvet (2011)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 34 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 18 critic

Via a terrifying trip to hell and back, Jean Marc Calvet was given a second chance at life, and now a successful artist on a quest for redemption, he embarks on an extraordinary journey to make peace with his past.

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Never believe you've played your last hand... French painter Jean Marc Calvet recounts his incredible life story as a street kid turned Cannes bodyguard who abandoned his family, robbed a Miami mobster, hid out in Central America and at the age of 38 overcame addictions through an extraordinary metamorphosis in which he began to paint. That was seven years ago. Now his intricate paintings sell for five figures, but he remains desperate to reconcile with his son he left behind. Written by Anonymous

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November 2011 (USA)  »

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An excellent, emotional, and under-seen documentary
5 July 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

While it's a slow build, this is ultimately a deeply affecting portrait of a man trying to make up for his past and redeem his soul.

Cavlet was a violent, angry young man, a drug abuser, self described 'schemer' and brawler who walked away from his wife and young son for an imaginary better life working as a bodyguard for a mobster in America. Now, years later Calvet has evolved into a successful artist, pouring his pain and rage into his canvases.

But the complete loss of connection with his son, who is now 18 haunts him, and leaves a huge hole in his life and heart, so he sets out to try and reunite with a boy he hasn't seen or spoken to in many years.

There were times when events felt a bit set up, and moments where Calvet's natural flair as a storyteller made me wonder if certain details of his story had been embellished for the cameras. But there are many moments, as the film goes along, that feel truthful, painful, honest, and moving.

Calvet's art itself is quite fascinating, and whether his amazing (and often horrifying) stories of his past have a touch of aggrandizement or not, they're always fascinating to listen to. It's too bad this excellent, very well reviewed film didn't get more attention, but at least a DVD and download are now available through a website


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